Rita Ora reflects on ‘Girls’ controversy: ‘There’s not one way to come out’

The song was heavily criticised for having "tone-deaf" lyrics

Rita Ora has opened up about her recent track ‘Girls’ after it was criticised by the LGBTQ+ community.

Pop singer Hayley Kiyoko and R&B artist Kehlani said the track – which also features Cardi B, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha – was “downright tone-deaf.”

Kiyoko also released a statement claiming that the song “does more harm than good for the LGBTQ+ community” and Kehlani hit out at the song for its “harmful lyrics”.

The lyrics, “sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls”, were called out for undermining the queer community, suggesting that girls only kiss other girls when drunk.

Now Ora has spoken of the controversy, telling Billboard: “This song is about liberation and freedom and empowerment and celebrating who you are. I think the narrative is shifting already. There’s not one way to come out.

“I have been grateful for the support and for the people who have spoken out about it, especially the Years and Years boys. And all of my friends, especially the ones in the LGBTQ community who have great big followings and have been doing amazing things for organizations, their support has kept me happy and has kept my spirits up.”

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander previously defended the singer and the track, saying, ““We can’t police the way people express their sexuality.”

“I think the whole situation was a bit grim because it feels like Rita was forced to come out. Which I think was quite sad and I felt sorry for her,” he said.

When asked what she would tell fans who were hurt by the track, Ora said she “can’t speak for them”. “But for those who are still upset about the song, I just want to tell them that I love them and that they are very near and dear to my heart. And that’s what I really tried to convey with the statement that I put out,” she added.