By Kelley Forrester - 'Larry King Now'
Former Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas apologized for making a joke that was viewed as insensitive and racist.
"I drink until I think I'm Australian. Then I keep drinking until I think I'm a black Australian," Thomas said during his Melbourne concert joking about being jet lagged.
When Thomas first joked about being Australian the audience was filled with laughter, but after Thomas' second comment, he was met with groans and boo's.
The joke was seen as insulting to the Aboriginal population by some. The indigenous people have been linked to drinking and substance abuse.
Following his concert Thomas went to Facebook to apologize for his insensitive comments.
"Please understand that although it is no excuse, I was completely unaware that in Australia there is a polarizing social issue happening right now involving indigenous people and alcohol," Thomas wrote in a Facebook post.
In his second post, Thomas added, "I was so ignorant to the situation that when I heard people groan I actually thought THEY were being racist. 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. Australia has been so good to me for so long that I'm embarrassed I don't know more about the history and the culture."
Thomas promised to learn more about the history and culture of Australia and the indigenous people.
Check out Rob Thomas talking to Larry King about the state of the music business!
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