'American Idol' Ugliness: Steven Tyler Apologizes to Nicki Minaj, Insists He's 'Not a Racist'
It's the most controversial season of American Idol yet -- and it hasn't even begun to air.
In the latest chapter of the Nicki Minaj vs. Steven Tyler feud currently grabbing headlines, the Aerosmith singer and former Idol judge has apologized for criticizing the new panelist -- but flatly denies her claims that the singer is "racist."
"I apologize if it was taken wrong, Nicki," Tyler told Canada's eTalk. "But I am the farthest from [being a racist]. I am the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist. I don't know where she got that out of me saying I'm not sure how she would've judged Bob Dylan."
The comments that angered Minaj were made to MTV News, with Tyler criticizing the flamboyant hip-hop star for reported hostilities between her and fellow judge Mariah Carey behind the scenes at the Fox reality show.
"They should have something going on so thick and beautiful that they can lay it over the new talent that's trying to birth itself," Tyler said, continuing on to speculate that Minaj would have sent [Bob Dylan] "to the cornfield" if he were to audition for her.
Minaj took to Twitter to respond, writing, "Steven, you haven't seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet."
"I understand you really wanted to keep your job but take that up with the producers. I haven't done anything to you. That's a racist comment," she went on, referencing rumors that Idol producers allegedly did not renew Tyler's contract after he requested a hefty pay raise.
She then wrote, "You assume that I wouldn't have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what? go f--- yourself and worry about yourself babe."
In early October, footage of Minaj and Carey openly sparring in front of a contestant was leaked to the web, followed by reports that Minaj had told the "Vision of Love" singer, "If I had a gun, I would shoot the bitch." Carey later told Barbara Walters on The View that she "doesn't feel comfortable emotionally" working alongside Minaj.
Minaj suggested the exchange was racially motivated, too, writing on Twitter that people "will believe it cuz she’s a black rapper. Lmao."
And Tyler is not even the only famous rocker named Steve to apologize to Minaj: Later that month, Stevie Nicks said she would have "strangled" Minaj "to death" if she had been Carey.
"I would have killed her in front of all those people and had to go to jail for it," the Fleetwood Mac singer said.
Nicks later apologized for her comments, calling them "very out of character."