Although Parks says the "tacky" song didn't personally offend her, she believes promoting McKnight for an event targeting families and children sends the wrong message to the community.
"I'm offended by [Artscape] bringing him," she said.
Mount Vernon who regularly attends Artscape, says she considers McKnight a good choice for the event.
"Despite his most recent songs, which I think are hilarious, he's an excellent writer and singer," Griffin said. "He fits with who's going to be there. They generally have performers that don't have outrageous hits but they're names you recognize."
Some have suggested McKnight's recent, sexually charged output has been an attempt to grab headlines, but McKnight balks at the idea.
"People talk about relevance, but do you think I care about relevance?" he said. "I don't have to talk about my stats." McKnight has multiplatinum albums, but none released since 2003 has sold more than 500,000 copies.
McKnight, who says he's "not very serious about much of anything," considers the controversy to be proof of his sense of humor.
"When Funny or Die called me, it was more validation to myself that I guess I am as funny as I thought," he said. "These are guys who I think are comedic geniuses."
For Parks, McKnight's joke completely missed the mark. It, along with McKnight's defense of the song in interviews and on Twitter, changed her opinion of the singer.
"I had some vision in my mind of the type of person he was, and now that I've seen a little look into his personality, I think he's just creepy," Parks said.
If you go
Artscape runs 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday in the area surrounding the intersection of Charles Street and Mount Royal Avenue. R&B singer Brian McKnight headlines the main stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Clutch, a Germantown-based rock band, performs at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The Rebirth Brass Band, which won a Grammy this year, closes out the festival at 6:30 p.m. Sunday. For details, including a full lineup and photos, go to baltimoresun.com/artscape.
Artscape headliner Brian McKnight's X-rated turn stirs controversy
R&B singer says he won't perform sexually explicit songs during set Friday night
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