Rapper will.i.am didn't mean to "disrespect anyone" after suggesting only "lazy parents" choose to medicate kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The Black Eyed Peas star, who suffered from the condition as a child, courted controversy over the weekend (17-18Mar18) after telling Event magazine he is relieved his mother couldn't afford to pay for the stimulant Ritalin, the drug typically prescribed to treat those with the disorder.
He claims the medication does more harm than good, and blames adults with a lack of patience for putting more and more youths on the drug.
"It's not the kids who are the problem, it's the lazy parents and lazy teachers who want kids to take Ritalin," he said. "You don't need medication, you need patience with kids who have ADHD. It's destroying so much potential and no one gives a damn."
will.i.am is convinced he wouldn't have been able to achieve his music dreams had he been placed on a Ritalin regimen: "I was fine because I had a patient mother and some patient teachers," he explained, "but it makes me furious that you get a kid who has this creative energy, who is powering off the walls and people can't be bothered to deal with energy."
The interview sparked a backlash online, and on Monday (19Mar18), the 43-year-old responded directly to one disgruntled parent, who called him out on Twitter for the callous remarks.
"Dear @iamwill Re your comments on #adhd & 'lazy parenting'," began a working mum named Sam. "Yes there are strategies to help adhd kids but sometimes medication is vital.I AM NOT a lazy parent & will fight for everything my daughter deserves.Your comments are v (very) upsetting".
The Where Is The Love? hitmaker reposted her tweet and attempted to clarify his stance, although he stopped short of issuing a public apology.
"My comments weren't meant to disrespect anyone...," he shared. "they were to point out how patient my mom and entire family was of me and my hyper active energy...both physically and mentally...and creativity was my calming...
"I'm happy my mom gave me art and not pills... (sic)".