Years & Years’ Olly Alexander defends Rita Ora over ‘Girls’ backlash

"We can’t police the way people express their sexuality"

Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander has defended Rita Ora after she faced backlash for recent single ‘Girls’.

Upon release, the track was heavily criticised for its ‘tone-deaf’ lyrics such as: “Sometimes, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls/Red wine, I just wanna kiss girls, girls, girls”, which many felt undermined the queer community, suggesting that girls only kiss other girls when drunk.

In the aftermath of the controversy, Ora confirmed that she had experienced “romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.”


Now, Ora has experienced another show of solidarity from Olly, who claimed that Rita was “forced” to come out.

“We can’t police the way people express their sexuality”, he told Metro.

“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.

“But we have to listen to the voices in the community who did have a problem with the song and how bisexuality is represented is important to people. There is a lot of erasion that happens with bisexual people, so I understand the backlash, but I think Rita has been dealing with it pretty well and I support her and I support the girls on that song.”
He added: “But we have to think of a better way to tackle these sore topics so people feel more inclusive and celebrate everybody and not shut people out.”
Speaking to Rolling Stone about the backlash from her peers, Ora recently said: “I could totally relate to the conversation that was being had. Of course, the intention of the song was never to hurt anybody”.