Contact Us

Rob Thomas Apologizes After Insulting Australian Audience With Racial Joke

Bryan Bedder, Getty Images
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

What’s Australia’s local cuisine like? Don’t ask Rob Thomas, who could only taste his foot in his mouth upon his last trip Down Under.

On Saturday (February 20), the Matchbox 20 frontman pissed off concertgoers in Melbourne when he joked mid-set: “I keep drinking until I think I’m a black Australian!” in reference to getting drunk during the flight to Australia, according to NME.

This didn’t sit well with locals, who pointed out that drunkenness is an offensive stereotype of Australia’s Aboriginal population, but Thomas insisted in a Facebook post that he was truly ignorant of his remark’s potential to insult.

“I have seen people comment that after coming here for so long I should know that there is a connection between the indigenous peoples of Australia and a stereotype involving drinking. Embarrassingly, I truly didn’t,” he began, before saying his joke was only meant to be self-effacing.

“I said I drank until I thought I was Australian. Then I drank so much that I thought I was a black Australian and then I drank so much I thought I was a little Australian girl. These were 3 things I chose at random to represent 3 things I’m not,” he noted. “I didn’t know until TODAY that just the phrase ‘black Australian’ was racist all on its own. I sat in my room and I cried when I found out…I am truly sorry for how this came across, most of all to the indigenous people here.”

The apology seemed to encourage some fans who were initially hurt.

“I was shocked by the comment, and did expect more from you,” one reply read. “But I am very glad to read you’re going to take time to learn about Aboriginal culture while you’re here. Thank you for listening, and for being honest, remorseful and open to learning.”

What do you make of Rob’s remarks? Share your thoughts in the comments.

See what these band names really mean:

Next: Rob Thomas + Ryan Tedder Team Up

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Best of PopCrush

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for PopCrush quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!