Metro Weekly

Rita Ora apologizes for “tone deaf” portrayal of LGBTQ relationships in “Girls” song

Ora said that her song was based on real life experiences but apologized for how she expressed herself

Rita Ora — Photo: Metro Weekly

Singer Rita Ora apologized on Monday for her new song Girls, which was criticized for having “tone deaf” lyrics in regards to LGBTQ relationships.

The song, which features Cardi B, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha, references Ora’s bisexuality, with lyrics such as, “I’m 50-50 and I’m never going to hide it,” before diving into a chorus that rebuffs a man’s advances by saying, “I just want to kiss girls.”

Throughout the song, Ora also references drug and alcohol use with lyrics such as “we rolling J’s, kush loving.”

Cardi B’s verse includes the lines, “I steal your bitch, have her down with the scissor” and “I could be your lipstick just for one night.”

In a post on Twitter, pop singer Hayley Kiyoko criticized “Girls” for doing “more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community” and called the message “tone-deaf.”

“A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalising the idea of women loving women…I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life,” she said, adding that the song’s message “belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community”.

DJ Kittens added on Twitter that the song’s message had an unhealthy amount of substance usage attached to it.

“This song is literally about wanting to hehe kiss girls when you’re drinking and smoking weed,” she said. “That’s all we got. It’s harmful when LGBT women are fetishized and no relationships are ever taken seriously.”

Ora responded to the criticism by apologizing for the way she expressed herself, saying on Twitter that the song was based on her personal journey.

“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 am sorry how I expressed myself in my song…I would never intentionally cause harm to other LGBTQ+ people or anyone.”

She finished off her Tweet by saying that she has “strived to be a contributor to the LGBTQ+ community” throughout her entire career.

Ora stated that her inspiration for the song was I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry, but even she admitted to Glamour in February that she would “probably make an edit” of the song.

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