Lana Del Rey hits back at social media critics: ‘This is the problem with society’

Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey has addressed criticism she received for a controversial Instagram post.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey defended herself Thursday after drawing criticism for a lengthy Instagram post name-checking several female artists of color.

While many perceived the message — which named Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé — as a slight against her industry peers, Del Rey argued otherwise in the comment section.

“To be clear because I knowwwwww you love to twist things,” Del Rey wrote. “I ... love these singers and know them. #that is why I mentioned them. I would also like to have some of the same freedom of expression without judgment of hysteria. There you go.”

In her original missive Thursday morning, the “Norman F—ing Rockwell” mastermind reacted to skeptics who say her music is “glamorizing abuse,” writing, “Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, [having sex], 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, or dancing for money — or whatever i want — without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse???????”

Singer Lana Del Rey hit back at critics who say her music glamorizes abuse, but she also called out female musicians Beyoncé, Camila Cabello and Nicki Minaj.

While many praised Del Rey for speaking her mind, several others wondered why she chose to single out mostly women of color, accusing her of trampling on their success.


“Bro. This is sad to make it about a [women of color] issue when I’m talking about my favorite singers,” she wrote in response. “I could’ve literally said anyone but I picked my favorite ... people.”

Del Rey’s Instagram moment comes nearly two weeks after cookbook author Alison Roman sparked a similar backlash by insulting two women of color with booming lifestyle brands: celebrity chef Chrissy Teigen and celebrity organizer Marie Kondo.

Roman, whose popular New York Times cooking column has been put on hold, later apologized for her remarks and acknowledged her privilege as a white woman.

Alison Roman sparked a fierce backlash after she criticized fellow cookbook author Chrissy Teigen and tidying expert Marie Kondo. Here’s what happened.

Later in her original post, Del Rey reflected further on being misunderstood by “female writers and alt singers” who take issue with the content of her songs. The “Summertime Sadness” hitmaker is known for exploring dark themes, such as depression and domestic violence, in her work — and for sparring with music critics, most notably NPR’s Ann Powers.

“I haven’t had the same opportunity to express what I wanted to express without being completely decimated,” Del Rey reiterated in the comments. “And if you want to say that has something to do with race that’s your opinion but that’s not what I was saying.

“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 — there are certain women that culture doesn’t want to have a voice 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 ever ever ... call me racist because that is [false].”

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