Rita Ora released her star-studded song “Girls,” featuring Charli XCX, Cardi B, and Bebe Rexha last week.
But, the song was met with disappointment and criticism from others. Queer pop star Hayley Kiyoko, who is open about her sexuality and incorporates it into her self-directed music videos (which incorporate the queer female gaze in unprecedented ways) has called out the song for being tone deaf — and she definitely has a point.
Apologising for any harm or offence Ora has now posted a statement to her Twitter page. “‘Girls’ was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life,” she wrote. “I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.
“I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone,” she continued. “I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone. Looking forward, I hope that continuing to express myself through my art will empower my fans to feel as proud of themselves as I’m learning to feel about who I am.”
She also said she is “ever thankful” to her fans for teaching her to “love myself no matter what”. “I have strived to be a contributor to the LGBTQ+ community throughout my entire career and always will be,” she finished.
> Shiuly Rina