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James Arthur responds to Rita Ora’s coming out: ‘Most girls I know fancy other girls’

Amy West May 31, 2018

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 08: James Arthur attends 66th Annual BMI Pop Awards at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on May 8, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for BMI)

James Arthur says it “doesn’t shock” him that ex-girlfriend and singer Rita Ora has had romantic relationships with both men and women.

In a conversation with The Sun, the former X Factor winner was asked whether he was aware of the backlash surrounding Ora’s most recent single ‘Girls‘, to which he responded that he had.

Then, when questioned about Ora’s coming out – something that seems to have been spurred on by the controversy surrounding the song – he kept things pretty impartial and diplomatic.

“I respect people shedding light and standing up for the LGBT community — that’s a great thing. If that’s what it is, you know, and not an attempt for publicity, then fair play.

Rita Ora revealed she’s had romantic relationships with both men and women following the backlash of her latest single Girls (Florian Ebener/Getty)

“I kind of assumed everyone is bisexual these days,” he continued. “I think most girls I know fancy other girls, it’s not something unusual in 2018.

“So Rita saying I kissed a girl doesn’t make me step back in amazement. It doesn’t shock. Each to their own, that’s great.”

‘Girls’ also features vocals from Bebe Rexha, Charli XCX and Cardi B, and was met with criticism when it was released in May 2018.

Music fans, and even some queer singers such as Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani, accused the song of being “downright tone-deaf,” playing up to harmful stereotypes and insinuating that women need to drink alcohol in order to kiss other women.

Singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko (Photo by Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for MTV)
Hayley Kiyoko called out the song Girls for supporting harmful stereotypes of queer women (Randy Shropshire/Getty)

Others voiced that they were uncomfortable with the fact that several of the track’s writers were men and their influence was felt within its lyrics.

Meanwhile, a few more said that the line, “I’m the hunter and she the prey” conjured up a damaging idea of how women who are attracted to other women might act around one another.

Following the backlash, 27-year-old Ora came out as bisexual on Twitter, explaining that “‘Girls’ was written to represent [her] truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in [her] life.”

She went on to say: “I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.

“I’m sorry how I expressed myself in my song has hurt anyone. 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.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Model Cara Delevingne (L) and musician Rita Ora attend The Weinstein Company & Netflix's 2015 Golden Globes After Party presented by FIJI Water, Lexus, Laura Mercier and Marie Claire at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for TWC)
Supermodel Cara Delevingne has come out in support of Ora (Jonathan Leibson/Getty)

Arthur isn’t the one to defend Ora in light of the controversy surrounding her recent single. Supermodel Cara Delevingne told Paper magazine that she didn’t think there was anything wrong with the song and that it wasn’t fair for Ora’s critics “to point a finger.”

She continued: “I love Rita. I think she’s a wonderful artist and I always support her in what she does.”

Charli XCX shared a similar viewpoint and told Rolling Stone: “[Rita] really does have every right to tell her story because she’s not doing it from an exploitive viewpoint.

“She’s been with women and had relationships with women. She’s had relationships with men too. I don’t understand why her story is less valid than anybody else’s.

“Rita had never confirmed her sexuality. She basically felt like she had to come out.”

More: james arthur, Rita Ora

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