Brian May this week said his recent remarks about gender inclusion at the Brit Awards and transgender people were "subtly twisted." The influential Queen guitarist apologized in a statement on social media and affirmed his openness to all people regardless of gender or other attributes.

May's controversial comments came in response to the annual British Phonographic Industry award show's removal of separate male and female prizes starting in 2022. Four Brit Awards — for best British male and female solo artist as well as international male and female solo artist — will become two gender neutral categories next year. [Via THR]

"It's a decision that has been made without enough thought," May told British tabloid The Daily Mirror when he attended the ITV Palooza! at The Royal Festival Hall in London on Nov. 23.

"A lot of things work quite well and can be left alone," he continued. "I get so sick of people trying to change things without thinking of the long-term consequences. Some of these things are an improvement; some of them are not."

May added that late Queen singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 of complications from AIDS, would have found PC culture "difficult." He also supposed that Queen wouldn't be seen as diverse enough today. "We would be forced to have people of different colors and different sexes and we would have to have a trans [person]," he said.

However, after backlash to those remarks, the musician indicated his words were taken out of context and made purposely to look like he was showing hostility toward the transgender community.

"I was ambushed and completely stitched up by a journalist at the recent ITV event," May explained in a Nov. 28 Instagram post. "And it's led to a whole mess of press stories making it look like I'm unfriendly to trans people. Nothing could be further from the truth. My words were subtly twisted. I should have known better than to talk to those predatory Press hacks."

He offered "sincere apologies to anyone who has been hurt by the stories. My heart is open as always to humans of all colors, all creeds, all sexes and sexualities, all shapes and sizes — and all creatures."

"We all deserve respect and an equal place in this world," May said. "My grateful thanks to all of you who stepped up to defend me in the last couple of days. It means so much that you have faith in me."

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