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.”
— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) May 14, 2018
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.”
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.