Rita Ora ‘sorry’ over bisexuality scandal
RITA Ora has apologised today for "hurting" fans with her new song Girls after she was accused of exploiting bisexuality to sell records.
The track features lyrics about drinking red wine and kissing girls, angering the LGBTQ community and fellow pop stars, who accused it of being "tone-deaf".
After a barrage of backlash, Ora, 27, has released a statement insisting she never meant to offend, The Sun reports.
"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 and this is my personal journey," Ora wrote.
"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. Love, Rita."
Among those voicing their upset over the lyrics was singer Hayley Kiyoko, who identifies as gay and labelled the song "harmful".
Kiyoko tweeted: "I literally have a knot in my stomach right now. To be clear, I fully support other artists who freely express themselves and applaud male and female artists who are opening up more and more about their sexual identities.
"But every so often there come songs with messaging that is just downright tone-deaf, which does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community. A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalising the idea of women loving women."
"I know this wasn't the intention of the artists on the song, but it's the lack of consideration behind these lyrics that really [gets to] me. I don't need to drink wine to kiss girls; I've loved women my entire life."
While singer Kehlani said "certain quotes weren't progressive" and added, "there. were. harmful. lyrics. period."
Some of the lyrics in the song include: "Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls."
On Saturday, The Sun revealed that the lyrics confirmed Rita's romance with model Cara Delevingne.
Referring to the lion tattoo on Cara's finger, Rita sings: "You know I tamed it, and then I named it. I put the lion in the cage and then I laid with her."
A source said: "Rita and Cara's relationship has always been speculated about and questions were asked at the time about whether they were more than good friends. While they never confirmed or denied anything, Rita has definitely allowed her music to do the talking.
"She has been honest with pals about what went on with her and Cara and, during the recording process in the studio, she was happy to discuss the model being the main influence behind the track."
This article has been edited and republished from The Sun with permission.