Years & Years’ Olly Alexander defends Rita Ora over ‘grim’ Girls backlash and says she was ‘forced to come out’
Olly Alexander has defended Rita Ora following the intense backlash from her song Girls.
The singer, 25, was accused by Hayley Kiyoko, 27, of being “downright tone-deaf” in the tune released last month, who added it did “more harm than good to the LGBTQ+ community.”
The song includes lyrics which suggest that women only kiss one another when drunk, and following the online anger Ora apologised and said it was based on her own experiences of being romantically involved with women.
Now however Alexander, 27, has branded the backlash “grim” and says his friend was “forced to come out.”
He told NME: “We can’t police the way people express their sexuality.
“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.”
Despite siding with Ora, the frontman says it’s important to listen to the voices of those who were offended.
“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.”
Last month Ora apologised for hurting anyone.
She tweeted: “Girls was written to represent my truth and is an accurate account of a very real and honest experience in my life.
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“I have had romantic relationships with women and men throughout my life and this is my personal journey.
She added: “I am sorry [if] 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.
“I’m ever thankful to my fans for teaching me to love myself no matter what. I have strived to be a contributor to the LGBTQ+ community throughout my entire career and always will be.”