Rita Ora responds to criticism of ‘tone-deaf’ ‘Girls’

The track features Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha

Rita Ora has responded to criticism of her “tone-deaf” new single, ‘Girls’.

The track, which features Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha, was released on Friday (May 11). Many have called out its lyrics, which include the lines “Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls” as being damaging to the LGBTQ+ community.

Pop singer Hayley Kiyoko described the song as “fuel[ling] the male gaze and marginalising the idea of women loving women.” Kehlani tweeted: “hate to be THAT guy but there were many awkward slurs, quotes, and moments that were like ‘word? word.”

Ora has now posted a statement to her Twitter page apologising for any harm or offence. “‘Girls’ was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life,” she wrote. “I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.

“I am sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone,” she continued. “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.”

She added she is “ever thankful” to her fans for teaching her 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,” she finished.

Previously, Ora had described the song as a “real gender fluid freedom record”.