“I realize that when speaking to reporters who are looking for the juiciest comments to print, a word like gangster in connection with a black president uttered by a black celebrity can almost be too much to resist,” Cheadle wrote, “I say this not in defense but to offer some perspective. I believe I used the word gangster and I meant it. But I wasn’t talking about pants sagging and forties and ‘hoes’ or any of that other nonsense and I find it hard to believe that that is what some people thought I was saying. I was talking about wish fulfillment; my own and my desire to witness something more than I had.”
Cheadle caught a lot of flak online for the comment Thursday night when the quote was released, which led to him posting a statement explaining what he meant via his Twitter page.