Recording artist Rita Ora released a statement on Monday following criticism of her new single “Girls” which some said was exploiting same-sex relationships in the same way that Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl” did ten years ago.
Sings Ora in the track which also features Cardi B. Bebe Rexha, and Charli XCX: “Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls…Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls.”
Critics attacked Ora for suggesting that bisexuality is a form of experimentation.
Ora responded on Monday by saying she was writing from experience, coming out publicly at the same time.
Said Ora in the statement: “Hello everyone reading this. Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life. 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. 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. 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 throughout my entire career and always will be. ”
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) May 14, 2018
Perhaps the strongest criticism came from fellow recording artist Hayley Kiyoko, who released a statement on Twitter last week slamming the track for “fueling the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women. Kiyoko said the song gave her a knot in her stomach and said its message “belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community.”
Real talk 🌈 pic.twitter.com/9EbZd5dYZq
— Hayley Kiyoko (@HayleyKiyoko) May 11, 2018