Rapper slammed by US gay rights organisation after she used homophobic language to attack celebrity blogger
One of the biggest gay advocacy organisations in the US has criticised Azealia Banks for her use of a homophobic slur. Banks, who called blogger Perez Hilton “a messy faggot”, had initially refused to retract the remark: “Really not as moved by this ‘f word’ thing as u all want me to be,” she wrote. “I meant what I meant.” She did, however, say sorry: “My most sincere apologies to anyone who was indirectly offended by my foul language.”
The offensive remark came at the end of a week that saw two relative peers, rappers Banks and Angel Haze, lashing out at each other in a pair of diss tracks. Hilton took Haze’s side in the fight, prompting Banks to get ugly. “@PerezHilton lol what a messy faggot you are,” she tweeted.
After Hilton and other observers decried Banks’s language, she became indignant. “A faggot is not a homosexual male. A faggot is any male who acts like a female. There’s a BIG difference,” she wrote. “As a bisexual person I knew what I meant when I used that word … When I said acts like a female I should’ve said acts like a cunt.” Her only apology was appended with a “lol”.
That’s when the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (Glaad) entered the fray. Despite having hailed Banks as a “notable coming-out story”, it condemned her use of the f-word. “Regardless of [Azealia's] intent or her personal definition … there are gay kids who follow her on Twitter who hear this word in an entirely different context,” wrote associate director Matt Kane. “This word is used almost universally by bullies, often as part of a larger verbal or physical assault. This word hurts those kids, no matter what Banks meant by it.”
Reports on gossip websites suggested that the remarks may have led to Banks being dropped by her US label Interscope. However a spokesman for the rapper denied this was the case, saying: “Azealia Banks is currently in the studio recording her debut album, which will be released this year through Interscope in the US and Polydor in the UK.”
Banks and Haze’s debut albums are expected later this year.