Speaking exclusively with Rolling Stone, Charli XCX has opened up about the controversy surrounding Rita Ora's track "Girls," which XCX appeared on alongside Bebe Rexha and Cardi B. The song -- which features the artists playful singing about wanting to kiss girls -- was criticized by Kehlani and Hayley Kiyoko as being exploitative, which led Ora to open up around her romantic experiences with women.
"I think the conversation and dialogue around this song is really important," XCX told Rolling Stone. "I try so hard to be as involved with the LGBTQ community as possible. Without that community, my career would not really be anything." XCX has collaborated with queer artists Kim Petras, Mykki Blanco and ALMA.
"I read Kehlani's post, Hayley [Kiyoko]'s post, Katie [Gavin] from Muna's post. I could totally relate to the conversation that was being had. Of course, the intention of the song was never to hurt anybody. None of the artists on this song would ever want to upset or hurt anyone," XCX explained.
"I know from when Rita invited me to be a part of the song, this song was about a specific experience that she had with a woman," said XCX. "I know that Rita's had extremely meaningful relationships with both men and women. She really does have every right to tell her story because she's not doing it from an exploitative viewpoint: she's been with women and had relationships with women. She's had relationships with men too. I don't understand why her story is less valid than anybody else's."
"I just really want to learn from this situation," added XCX. "I think that's something we can all do: we can all learn from this conversation. It would be great to continue this dialogue in a positive way -- not in an attacking way -- so that people can learn about people's feelings, about people's sexualities and viewpoints. We can learn to not judge people before we get all the information. We can learn how certain words might make certain communities sad or upset."