After sharing a lengthy rant to Instagram on Wednesday, where she subtly took aim at fellow female pop stars for singing about “being sexy” and “wearing no clothes,” Lana Del Rey has sparked major controversy over social media.
Though she said the basis of her post was to defend herself from “female writers” and “alt. singers” who she says have “crucified” her for “glamourizing abuse” with her music, many couldn’t help but notice that almost all of the artists Del Rey mentioned are Black women.
“Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila (Cabello), Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, f—ing, cheating etc., can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect without being crucified, or saying that I’m glamourizing abuse?” the brooding pop singer, born Elizabeth Grant, wrote in her post.
A number of social media users have been accusing the 34-year-old musician of being “racist.”
Del Rey returned to Instagram on Thursday afternoon to defend herself, claiming that the artists she previously called out are actually her “favourite singers.”
“This is sad to make (my post) about a WOC (women of colour) issue when I’m talking about my favorite singers,” the Summertime Sadness hit-maker wrote in the comment section of her initial post.
“I could’ve literally said anyone, but I picked my favorite f—ing people,” Del Rey added. “This is the problem with society today: not everything is about whatever you want it to be. It’s exactly the point of my post.”
Initially, the five-time Grammy Award nominee expressed concern that there simply isn’t a “place in feminism” for women “who look and act like (her).”
In her post, she described those women as ones “who are slated mercilessly for being their authentic, delicate selves” and “who get their own stories and voices taken away from them by stronger women, or by men who hate women.”
In her response to the backlash, Del Rey tried to elaborate on the comments, while also demanding that people do not call her “racist.”
“There are certain women that culture doesn’t want to have a voice,” she wrote. “It may not have to do with race — I don’t know what it has to do with, I don’t care anymore — but don’t ever, ever call me racist, because that is bulls–t.”
“When I said people who ‘look like me,’ I meant the people who don’t look strong or necessarily smart, or like they’re in control etc.,” she added in a later comment. “It’s about advocating for a more delicate personality, not for white woman.”
Additionally, Del Rey reiterated that the musicians she mentioned “are (her) favourite singers.”
“If you want to try and make a bone to pick out of that, like you always do, be my guest,” she wrote. “It doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t had the same opportunity to express what I wanted to express without being completely decimated.”
“If you want to say that that has something to do with race, that’s your opinion, but that’s not what I was saying,” added the Norman F—ing Rockwell! singer.
In response, a number of Instagram users began criticizing her further, calling her out for being “privileged” because she’s “white,” or because she’s a supposed “cop dater.”
“Careful, your privilege is showing,” commented one individual, who, among many others, used “#Karening” to call Del Rey a “Karen.”
A “Karen,” in internet parlance, is a boring white mom with a blond bob cut and a penchant for complaining. Or as the Urban Dictionary puts it: “Usually the name of a mother with three kids who has a short hairstyle and would like to speak to the manager.”
One Twitter user wrote: “Lana Del Rey was very Karen in that essay. I hate (that) it had to be her.”
Others continued to dub the singer “racist,” while also calling out her “ignorance.”
Here’s what some more angered Twitter users had to say:
Lana del rey has shown exactly zero willingness to engage with the perfectly righteous criticism against her racist post in any good faith. Make no mistake her statement and replies, regardless of "ignorance" or intent, is a racial attack.
— 🌷stacey🧛🏻♀️ (@stacemjo) May 22, 2020
@LanaDelRey please educate yourself. Your comments are ignorant and racist and anti-feminist. I love your work but I cannot reconcile what a shitty ignorant narrative you have fostered and are standing by. Really fucking disappointed in you
— MassIncarcerationIsSlavery (@KhaleesiL_) May 22, 2020
— Merry Garden (@sonrisacolor) May 22, 2020
Lana del Rey sounded HELLA racist in her post, there are several things that need to be said about her, not only about the post but y'all ain't ready to drop a white woman
— elena • VI (@cabinsith) May 22, 2020
Lol and this is why I had never been a fan of Lana Del Rey. She’s a Karen in sheep’s clothing.
— sima, from mumbai (@ytpplhateme) May 22, 2020
That Lana Del Rey post reeks of Karen energy, acting like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B etc didn’t go through years of scrutiny for the same things she thinks they’re championed for is WGE in its purist form but I get her point.
— BlackVinceVaughn (@YourMusicWhore) May 21, 2020
In her third — and, currently, final comment — Del Rey thanked her disparagers for all of the “Karen comments.”
Despite all the negativity and criticism towards the New York City-born musician, her fans tried their hand at defending her and justifying her comments.
“(Lana Del Rey)’s equally pro-women and pro-men, which is why the woke brigade is villifying her as racist and anti-feminist,” wrote one angered Twitter user. “She sings about loving men, not hating them.”
Here’s what some other supporters said:
Why are people trying to make what Lana Del Rey said into a racist talk?
Why are people dumb?
What was racist in what she said?
How is it her fault that all the people topping charts rn and singing the same thing as she is are black women? 😕
— JUGS'N'NUT 🍋 (@llemurn) May 21, 2020
THIS is why I said some of y’all scored low when it came to reading comprehension in elementary school. You guys will take the words of any artist and twist it into what view you see fit because you LACK COMPREHENSION. To call @LanaDelRey racist or a Karen is complete BS. pic.twitter.com/ijIwHAw8V7
— Daniel (@dancewithlions_) May 22, 2020
y’all cannot actual try to say lana del rey is racist. the women she brought up are some of the most popular women atm. lana has been shamed for “glamorizing” abuse while others can make songs about sex and when she defends her self y’all call her racist?? #LanaDelRey
— josie (@lanascokeline) May 21, 2020
us lana stans will just eat our cigarettes and laugh at the drama, i swear some of y’all really reaching, racist? like huh..she was just talking ab the music industry but anyways. #LanaDelRey pic.twitter.com/vTAdQwY0s3
— Toni (@sangwooscrispy) May 22, 2020
Another person tweeted: “For the record, not a fan, or a regular listener of Lana Del Rey, but to say that she was racist is such an unintelligent observation.”
“Folk read way too much into things and create their own narratives and it’s so dangerous.”
Less than an hour after defending herself, Del Rey posted a cryptic GIF to her Instagram account that shows four different scenes of her dancing on a pole. The captions reads, “#f—off.”
The singer provided no context or explanation as to why she shared the post.
— With files from Global News’ Josh K. Elliott
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