Rita Ora has released the video for the much-maligned song “Girls,” featuring Charli XCX, Bebe Rexha, and Cardi B. Almost immediately after its release, Ora and XCX apologized for the track after a backlash from queer artists, like Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani, who criticized the song’s “just downright tone-deaf”messaging of portraying sexual relationships between women as the byproduct of mercurial whimsy between bicurious women who have had too many classes of pinot noir.
“A song like this just fuels the male gaze while marginalizing the idea of women loving women…I don’t need to drink wine to kiss girls; I’ve loved women my entire life,” Kiyoko, an openly gay pop artist, said in a statement. “This type of message is dangerous because it completely belittles and invalidates the very pure feelings of an entire community.”
The accompanying video seems to play into that male gaze with an island full of ornamental woman lounging around in flesh-colored lingerie and are draped around Ora, who is seen splayed out on what looks like a fainting couch. The women in this Sapphic fantasy are passive objects of desire bereft of agency. Also, for some reason, XCX is lurking in a haunted forest while outfitted in a white pants suit and some Kris Jenner-style tinted shades. Watch below.