Rita Ora is sorry. Following the backlash to her new single “Girls” and its potentially “harmful” lyrics, the pop star has issued an apology to the LGBTQ community.
In a Twitter statement, Ora responded to the criticism of the Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX-assisted track, which celebrates bisexuality. “‘Girls” was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life,” she said. “I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”
She went on to apologize for offending anyone. “I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone. I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone,” she added. “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. I’m ever thankful to my fans for teaching me to love myself no matter what. I have strived to be a contributor to the LGBTQ+ community thoughout my entire career and always will be.”
“Girls,” which Ora co-wrote, received criticism from her peers including Kehlani, who took issue with the lyrics. “did i not say i love every woman apart of this?” she wrote. “i didn’t even say it was a bad song. i repeat AND stand by the fact that certain lyrics weren’t progressive and very problematic. i blame the writers.”
every artist on the song is fantastic, and very much loved and supported by me… by all of us. but this isn’t about talent. it’s about choice.
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) May 11, 2018
Singer Hayley Kiyoko also called out the song for its “tone-deaf” message, saying it “belittles and invalidates” members of the LGBTQ community.
Ora has already shot a video for “Girls” with Cardi B, Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX, which is set to premiere in the coming weeks.