WATCH: Rita Ora kisses Cardi B in music video for controversial song ‘Girls’
Rita Ora opened a can of worms after releasing the track “Girls” featuring rapper Cardi B, as well as singers Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha, yesterday, June 6.
What was supposed to be an anthem for bisexuals as well as a promotion of “gender-fluid freedom” turned out to be a nightmare for the LGBTQ+ community following the criticisms made by LGBTQ+ community members in relation to the track’s lyrics.
The video for “Girls” features a short, albeit a naughty kissing scene between Ora and Cardi — an unsurprising feat considering what the track is all about. Cardi B, who appears to be a hologram of sorts is seen nuzzling Ora’s neck before engaging in a lip-lock with the singer, which lasted for an entire second.
“Girls” was criticized for its problematic — with some even calling it downright harmful portrayal — of same sex relationship.
The track, which was released on May 11, received a backlash from singer Hayley Kiyoko who is dubbed by fans as “Lesbian Jesus.” Kiyoko took to her Twitter page to air her sentiments regarding the track’s lyrics, particularly its chorus which goes “Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls.” The former Disney star identified the track as harmful to the LGBTQ+ community, citing its supposed message as “downright tone-deaf.”
Moreover, Kiyoko remarked, “I know this wasn’t the intention of the artist on the song, but its 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. This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community.”
Real talk 🌈 pic.twitter.com/9EbZd5dYZq
— Hayley Kiyoko (@HayleyKiyoko) May 11, 2018
Members of the LGBTQ+ community applauded Kiyoko’s statement, even going as far as to call Ora out. As a response, she apologized on Twitter on May 14, explaining that the track was written to represent a real experience she had.
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) May 14, 2018
While there have been criticisms regarding the track, some fans have acknowledged the fact that Ora wrote the lyrics with her experience in mind. Cara Delevingne in an interview with Paper magazine defended Ora.
“I don’t think it’s right to say her experience and her words are wrong… She didn’t need to apologize. She did nothing wrong… It came from the right intention and that’s what’s most important,” said the model-turned-actress.
The timing of the release of the video curiously coincides with the LGBTQ+ community’s Pride Month celebration. Whether or not this is Ora’s way to showcase the fact that not everyone discovers their sexuality or gender the same way, only Ora knows. JB