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John Mayer Sets the Record Straight on His Friendship With Andy Cohen

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It’s no surprise that this week’s The Hollywood Reporter cover story on Andy Cohen would garner some attention — in it, the Watch What Happens Live host and Bravo producer spoke candidly with co-editor in chief Maer Roshan about the accusations that had been swirling around the Real Housewives franchise, from on-set sexism to racism to alcohol and drug abuse, breaking his long silence about the controversy.

But the part of the interview that would garner the most attention had nothing to do with any of these claims: instead, it was a rather tangential query regarding the longtime friendship between the openly gay Cohen and straight rock star John Mayer, a relationship that has spurred reams of coy stories in both tabloids and the mainstream press.

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“Your friendship with Mayer has been the subject of intense speculation,” Roshan noted. “People seem dubious that a straight rock star can have a close, platonic relationship with a gay TV personality.”

“Let them speculate” Cohen replied. “I honestly love John Mayer, and he loves me. But because we are so affectionate to each other, people don’t know what box to put that in. They assume we are sleeping with each other, which we are most definitely not.”

That snippet in a 5,000-word interview quickly went viral, with dozens of news outlets, from CNN to the Daily Mail to Yahoo News, picking it up. More surprisingly, the question caught the eye of a certain rock guitarist — Mayer himself — who was moved to write THR the following response, which is printed here in full:

Hi Mr. Roshan,

I read your interview with Andy Cohen, and was intrigued by your line of questioning regarding our friendship. You posited that “your friendship with Mayer has been a subject of intense speculation. People seem dubious that a straight rock star can have a close platonic relationship with a gay TV personality.”

I think this is somewhat of a specious premise. First, there is a long and storied history of “rock stars” (not mocking, just won’t refer to myself as one) befriending gay icons and artists.

Second, I think that to suggest that people are dubious of a friendship like mine and Andy’s is to undermine the public’s ability to accept and understand diversity in all facets of culture, be it in art or in real life. I’d like to think they’re sophisticated enough to see a relationship like ours without assuming it must include a sexual component. That turns the concept of being gay into an ignorantly two-dimensional one, which I know you know it’s not. I don’t question that at all. 

I love intelligent discourse — as I hope you’ll find this email to be — but I bristle at your selectively flimsy logic meant to coax an answer, when the premise itself is so deeply flawed — and quite possibly not even quantitatively true. 

Quite simply, if someone is dubious of a platonic relationship between a straight man and a gay man, I don’t think that shallow a view deserves clarification by anyone with self respect, be it Andy or your publication. Reinforcing the idea that any gay/straight relationship needs qualification that it’s not sexual devoids everyone involved of their dignity. 


John Mayer 

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Hollywood Reporter Original Article

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