Despite the fact that Rita Ora's "Girls" -- which features Cardi B, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha -- is obviously the high femme summer bop we needed, not everyone is happy about it. Queer artist Hayley Kiyoko has released a statement in response to the track, claiming that the cheeky single "does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community," while Kehlani says that the song contains "harmful lyrics."
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On the track, Rita, Cardi, Charli and Bebe sing that "Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls." In her Twitter statement, Kiyoko -- whose fans call her "Lesbian Jesus" -- says: "There is a new song that came out today featuring a handful of well-known pop artists that has me overwhelmed with thoughts," and that while she supports artists "who are opening up more and more about their sexual identities," she claims that "every so often there come certain songs with messaging that is just downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community...A song like ["Girls"] just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women," adds Kiyoko.
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Of the song's chorus about drinking wine and kising girls, Kiyoko says, "This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community...We can and should do better."
Read Kiyoko's full statement below.
Openly queer artist Kehlani also chimed in with her views on the track, tweeting ""Hate to be THAT guy but there were many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments that were like 'word? word.'" She also wrote "Don't make this personal. i have an incredible song out with one of the artists, and would love to work with the other three as well. & have met them all and respect them. there. were. harmful. lyrics. period."