Watch: Brian May makes controversial comments about Queen diversity
Brian May has claimed he was "stitched up" in the wake of reports surrounding comments he made about the Brit Awards' decision to scrap gendered categories.
The Queen guitarist was quoted earlier this week as saying the Brits changes were a "knee-jerk response" in a world in which decisions are being made "often out of fear".
He added: "I am sure if Queen started now we would be forced to have people of different colours and different sexes and a trans [person], but life doesn’t have to be like that. We can be separate and different."
Read more: Brian May says anti-vaxxers are "fruitcakes"
Many on social media noted that these remarks were strange and misjudged given that the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was of Indian heritage and a member of the LGBT+ community.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, the 74-year-old said his words had been "subtly twisted" by "predatory press hacks" in reporting the story.
"I was ambushed and completely stitched up by a journalist at the recent ITV event," he wrote.
"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."
May added: "Sincere apologies to anyone who has been hurt by the stories.
"My heart is open as always to humans of all colours, 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 concluded by offering his "grateful thanks to all of you who stepped up to defend me" in the wake of the initial story.
The Brit Awards announced this week that all of its gendered categories will be scrapped for the 2022 ceremony.
Artists including the non-binary singer Sam Smith had criticised the awards for excluding them by handing out prizes in gendered categories.
In March, Smith wrote on Instagram: "I look forward to a time where awards shows can be reflective of the society we live in.
"Let’s celebrate everybody, regardless of gender, race, age, ability, sexuality and class."
Watch: Brian May quizzed about gas fire on Good Morning Britain