'The Voice's' Adam Levine Slams 'American Idol' for Its Treatment of Gay Performers

The Maroon 5 front man talks gay rumors, his out sibling, and the NBC series' treatment of gay performers compared to the Fox competition.
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The Voice coach and Maroon 5 front man, Adam Levine, tackled the gay rumors swirling about him, talked about how his family dealt with his own brother’s coming out, and compares how the NBC show’s treatment of gay performers differs from Fox’s American Idol in a new interview with Out magazine.

“There’s no way to hide my straightness, but if people didn’t think there was a small chance I was gay, then I wouldn’t be doing my job very well,” Levine tells the magazine about the speculation that he’s gay.

“Look at the best ones, guys whose sexuality was always questioned,” he continues. “[David] Bowie. [Mick] Jagger. Freddie Mercury. I wouldn’t be the front man of a band if that question hadn’t come up at some point.”

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That’s not to say that Levine doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of what it’s like to be gay. The rocker tells the magazine that his younger brother is in fact gay.

“I can single-handedly dispel any ideas that sexuality is acquired,” he laughs. “Trust me, you’re born with it. My brother is gay, and we knew when he was two. We all knew.”

The actor says his family worked very hard to let his brother know that his sexuality is OK and has some advice to pass along to other families in the same situation.

“A lot of people don’t want their kid to be gay and will fight it at all costs,” he says. “But I’ve got news for you—it’s a losing f--king battle. The more you fight it, the more f--ked-up your kid’s gonna be. You’ve just gotta embrace it from the beginning. That’s the only way to deal with it as a family. Otherwise, you’re just screwing yourself over, and you’re gonna make your kid miserable.”

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Levine is proud of how NBC’s The Voice treated its gay performers. It had several out competitors with two making it to the final round: Beverly McClellan and Vicci Martinez. And he had several words for the show’s competition, Fox’s American Idol, on the way it has handled its gay competitors’ sexuality.

“What’s always pissed me off about Idol is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken,” he says. “C’mon. You can’t be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can’t hide basic components of these people’s lives. The fact that The Voice didn’t have any qualms about being completely open about it is a great thing.”

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