One day after being pulled from a headlining spot at music festival Lollapalooza due to his homophobic and HIV/AIDs-phobic comments, rapper DaBaby issued yet another apology after two more music festivals dropped him from their lineups.
The apology, released via Instagram Monday, is the first time DaBaby directly apologized to the LGBTQ community since denigrating gay men and quantifying LGBTQ identities with deviancy during his performance at Rolling Loud last month. “I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the harmful and triggering comments I made,” said DaBaby. “Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important. Love to all. God Bless.”
The statement marked the first time DaBaby directly apologized to the LGBTQ community after a week full of near-daily defenses and doubling down of his initial comments, including saying “My apologies for being me the same way you want the freedom to be you” in the music video for his single “Giving What It’s Supposed To Give.” He previously apologized for his comments against those living with HIV/AIDS, but withheld the same courtesy from LGBTQ people.
But DaBaby’s latest attempt to quell the fallout from his Rolling Loud comments and the week-long defense of the homophobia, misogyny and HIV/AIDS misinformation it perpetuated wasn’t without criticism. While he finally apologized without comparing his right to hate speech to LGBTQ people’s right to live openly without persecution, DaBaby reserved more words for those that took him to task than his actual apology. As Vulture music critic Craig Jenkins put it, “the part about how everyone should’ve been nicer to him is longer than the part about what he did wrong.”
“Social media moves so fast that people want to demolish you before you even have the opportunity to grow, educate and learn from your mistakes,” DaBaby wrote. “As a man who has had to make his own way from very difficult circumstances, having people I know publicly working against me – knowing that what I needed was education on these topics and guidance – has been challenging.”
To be clear, it isn’t any member of the LGBTQ community’s responsibility to educate others on LGBTQ identities, issues that threaten their civil rights or the prejudices they face. The same is true for those living with HIV/AIDS. But even putting that aside, those criticizing DaBaby’s comments, including Elton John and Demi Lovato, offered educational material on why his comments were hateful and misleading well before Monday’s apology was released.
The artist’s comments came after news broke Monday that popular festivals The Governors Ball in New York City and Day n Vegas 2021 announced that DaBaby had been removed from their lineups. Founders Entertainment, organizers of The Governors Ball, stated that it “does not and will not tolerate hate or discrimination of any kind” in its announcement of DaBaby’s removal. “We welcome and celebrate diverse communities that make New York City the greatest city in the world. Thank you to the fans who continue to speak up for what is right,” it added.
Day n Vegas 2021 organizers didn’t directly link their decision to remove DaBaby to his controversial remarks, simply stating that he “will no longer be appearing” in an Instagram post. The additional canceled performances now bring the total number of festivals to remove DaBaby post-Rolling Loud to four. Manchester, England festival Parklife 2021 dropped him from its lineup last week and Lollapalooza canceled his performance Sunday night, citing his derogatory comments.
“Lollapalooza was founded on diversity, inclusivity, respect and love,” Lollapalooza organizers said Sunday. “With that in mind, DaBaby will no longer be performing at Grant Park tonight.”
Dababy Lollpalooza: Previously on Towleroad
Photo courtesy of Azhem123/Creative Commons