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:
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:
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