Rita Ora has finally responded to the criticism surrounding her new hit single with Cardi B, Charli XCX, and Bebe Rexha titled "Girls."
The bisexual anthem was released earlier this month and became an instant hit. However, it also received intense criticism from some who were offended by the song's portrayal of queer relationships.
One of the people who voiced their concerns over the song's impact in the LGBTQ+ community was Hayley Kiyoko who fans lovingly call "Lesbian Jesus." On an Instagram post, the "Girls Like Girls" singer explained why Ora's new song "Girls" was "tone-deaf" and "fuels the male gaze" on romantic relationships between two female.
She added that, unlike what the lyrics suggest, as a queer woman, she never had to feel drunk to be attracted to another woman.
Kehlani also hopped on to Twitter to voice her concern over the song.
Rita Ora Apologizes
A few days after the release of the new track and the immediate criticism it received, Ora has issued a statement to talk about the intention behind "Girls" and apologize to those who she has offended.
pic.twitter.com/p53aQxfQg2 — Rita Ora (@RitaOra) May 14, 2018
The 27-year-old explained that the song, which she initially said was inspired by Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl," was also drawn out from her own experience. The singer-actress admitted that, in the past, she has had romantic and sexual relationships with both men and women.
While Ora does not often discuss her sexuality, there have been rumors that she is bisexual for years. The Fifty Shades Freed star has had a close relationship with model/actress Cara Delevinge and many believe that their friendship was more than platonic.
In an interview in 2017, Ora talked about her friendship with the openly bisexual star who is currently dating Paris Jackson.
"Well, that's the point," she said when asked if her relationship with Delevingne turned physical. She added that she and the model started the trend of celebrities being publicly affectionate with their close friends. "She's one of my faves but that's just another era. We were on fire then."
Is 'Girls' About Cara Delevingne
However, sources revealed that some parts of "Girls" referenced her relationship with Delevingne. In a statement to the tabloid The Sun, the unnamed insider revealed that Ora is now more open to talking about their previous romance — at least behind closed doors.
"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," said the source to the publication.
In particular, Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha's line that mentioned taming a lion was a direct reference to the model. The Suicide Squad actress has a tattoo of a lion on her finger.
Ora's follow-up to 2012 debut studio album is expected to be released this year.