Everything Jason Derulo Has Said About His Viral Underwear Instagram Photo Controversy
Over the past month, Jason Derulo has continued to generate buzz and throw the internet for a loop — and not because of his music or his acting.
In late November, the Cats star, 30, shared a since-removed photo of himself wearing nothing but tight, black boxer-briefs on his Instagram. The singer’s photo — which also showed off his chiseled abs with water dripping down his body — quickly went viral as fans were fast to comment on his large bulge.
Captioned “Good Mornin’ ?,” the Instagram post showed Derulo amid an exotic Bali backdrop, wearing nothing but the jewelry around his neck and an extremely snug pair of underwear.
At first, Derulo joked with his followers after realizing the splash the photo made, commenting, “Don’t lie.. did you zoom?” When one follower jested about what animal he was hiding in his pants, Derulo replied “anaconda.” However, the controversy began when the singer was accused of photoshopping his endowment.
While the “Trumpets” singer was speaking with a TMZ reporter shortly after the post went viral — expressing his surprise at the post taking on a life of its own — the cameraman asked whether any retouching or enhancements were made to the photograph before it made its world debut.
“Photoshop?! Photoshop?! Man don’t make me —,” he joked. “Hey, there’s not enough women in this area.”
He added: “Just know … us Haitians, we look different.”
Nearly two weeks after the photo was first posted, the shot eventually gained so much attention that Instagram ultimately removed it — leaving Derulo to clap back at the social media platform.
On Dec. 3, the artist shared a screenshot of the notice he received from Instagram, which claimed the content went against the company’s guidelines.
The singer expressed his anger of the removal in his Instagram Story saying, “Y’all ain’t gonna believe this — Instagram took down my Bali pic! They took down my Bali pic!”
“Hey, listen,” he continued before pointing out what he felt is a double standard. “All these girls showing their ass and all kinds of crazy s— and I have underwear on in Bali and they took my pic down. It’s discrimination. Like, I understand, I can’t help my size, but you can’t take down my pic.”
Derulo also took the opportunity to protest the removal by reposting the particular photo. He captioned the new post, which has also since been removed, “F— u mean? I have underwear on… I can’t help my size..”
The screenshot shows Instagram’s reasoning for taking down the Nov. 21 post, citing that it contained “nudity or sexual activity.”
“We removed your post because it goes against our Community Guidelines on nudity or sexual activity. Out guidelines are based on our global community, and some audiences may be sensitive to different things,” the explanation read.
A spokesperson from the Facebook Company, which owns Instagram, said the post violated the site’s guidelines by featuring “aroused genitalia.” The platform also pulls posts that include sexual intercourse, genitals and close-ups of fully nude buttocks, the spokesperson told PEOPLE.
On Dec. 6, Derulo shared a hilariously censored version of the photo poking fun at the controversial situation. “Is this better? ? ” he captioned the new photo, which includes a footlong sandwich imposed over his crotch.
Looking back on the post, he told Entertainment Tonight on Thursday that he “didn’t think it was gonna cause, like, this much thirst.”
“I knew it was a thirst trap picture,” he said. “But I didn’t think when I posted it that it was gonna be my most liked photo in that first couple of hours. I didn’t think it was going to, like, be taken down by the ‘gram….Like, I mean, c’mon.”
“When I was posting it in the morning, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, women might like this one,’ you know what I’m saying?” he recalled. “Like, ‘Yeah, this is a good photo,’ but I wasn’t like, ‘Yo, this is about to be a crazy post.’ Nah, not at all.
Just when viewers thought the situation had calmed down, Derulo was back to discussing his private regions earlier this week.
The singer spoke to Andy Cohen on his SiriusXM radio show on Monday in which the Bravo host said, “You’re in tights in Cats it makes me think that they…”
“CGI’d the d— out? Yeah, they did CGI [it out]. I noticed that,” Derulo said, laughing. The singer stars as Rum Tug Tugger in the film.
Cohen asked, “You think that they airbrushed your penis out of the Cats film?”
“One hundred and twenty-five percent,” Derulo said. “It was actually hilarious, Rebel Wilson was talking about it on and on on a show we were on. She said, ‘We were all naked.’”
“I’m not surprised. To make it as cat-like as possible, I think that’s what it was about, you know?” Derulo said.
He reiterated the idea to Cohen that the removal of his photo was a double standard, quipping “nobody cares about men’s rights, so there’s the problem there.”
“I mean it’s a real thing, c’mon, I literally posted that photo because I thought it was a great photo of myself. My intentions were not to offend anyone or to be nude,” he added. “I knew my package looked good but I didn’t it was like gonna be crazy to the point where like it was the most talked-about topic or my most-liked photo. It was my most liked photo just in an afternoon.”
He admitted that he “thinks it’s hilarious that [Instagram] had a meeting about my penis.”
“I love Instagram, it’s really not that serious to me…But they had a meeting and they were going to put it back up until TMZ caught me outside of a place and they were like ‘Did you have an erection?’ and I was like ‘Nah, I didn’t have an erection man.’ I was like well ‘I might have had a semi,’ but I was totally joking.”
Derulo’s photo garnered so much attention that he even received an offer from a porn company, which he immediately turned down.