Rita Ora unveiled her star-studded bisexual anthem “Girls” featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX last Friday. However, it immediately faced criticism from fellow artists, accusing Ora for gay-baiting. One of them was openly-lesbian pop singer Hayley Kiyoko.
“Every so often there comes certain songs with messaging that is downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community,” Hayley declared on Twitter. “A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women. I know this wasn’t the intention of the artists on the song, but it’s the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really get me. I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life.”
Kehlani, who identifies as pansexual, also labeled the single as “harmful” in a series of tweets.
“Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girl,” Ora sings on the track. “Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls.”
After facing some backlash, Rita has issued an apology to those offended by the lyrics. She maintains the lyrics were meant to represent her truth and that it’s an account of real experiences, revealing she’s had romantic relationships with women and men in her past. Read her apology below.
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) May 14, 2018
Rita Ora, Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX ‘Girls’ Lyric Video