Lana Del Rey defends herself yet again on Instagram: ‘I’m definitely not racist’

Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey is still shutting down criticism that’s been brewing since last week.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey doubled down again Monday on a controversial Instagram post that name-checked several other female artists, including Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kehlani, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé.

Del Rey’s latest response to her critics, who accused her of singling out women of color in her original statement last week, came in the form of a six-minute Instagram video expanding on her thoughts. She also compared herself to yet another woman in the music industry (FKA Twigs) and unveiled the title of her forthcoming album, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club.”

She also revealed that “a couple of the girls that I’ve talked to who are mentioned in that post have a super different opinion of my insight.” In an earlier reaction statement, posted Friday, Del Rey said she received feedback from “several” of the women she called out, including Grande and Doja Cat.


“If the women I mention don’t want to be associated with me that’s absolutely fine by me,” she wrote Friday.

As “Mrs. America” shows, the white female privilege displayed by Lana Del Rey and Alison Roman in recent spats is larger, and older, than either of them.

May 22, 2020

Here’s the full transcript of the Grammy-nominated musician’s most recent remarks below.

“Hey, so I don’t want to beat a dead horse, and I don’t want to go on and on about this post thing. But I just want to remind you that in that post — my one and only personal declaration I’ve ever made — thanks for being so warm and welcoming — was about the need for fragility in the feminist movement. It’s gonna be important. And when I mentioned women who look like me, I didn’t mean white like me. I mean the kind of women who other people might not believe because they think, ‘Oh, well look at her. She ... deserves it,’ or whatever. There’s a lot of people like that.

“And I just think it’s sad that the women I mentioned, about whether they sing about dancing for money or whatever — the same stuff, by the way, that I’ve been singing about chronically for 13 years. That’s why I’m in that echelon. Yes, they are my friends and peers, contemporaries. The difference is, when I get on the pole, people call me a whore, , but when [FKA] Twigs gets on the pole, it’s art.... I’m reminded constantly by my friends that, lyrically, there are layers and complicated psychological factors that play into some of my songwriting, but I just want to say the culture’s super sick right now, and the fact that they want to turn my post — my advocacy for fragility — into a race war, it’s really bad. It’s actually really bad, especially when in that same declaration, I was talking, again, about the idea of how important it is to make reparations ... to the Navajo community because they touched me so much in my youth. And that I believe in personal reparations because it’s the right thing to do.

“And I think what’s really sad is, like, as a personal advocate, as a girl’s girl, as somebody who wants the best for every culture, when Marianne Williamson was talking about reparations to the black community that never got done during the emancipation period, that was why I liked her. Because I always felt that way. So I just want to say to all of the other women out there who are like me — good girls, good-intentioned, who get [mistreated] constantly by the culture just because you say what you really mean — I’m with you. And I feel for you. And I know that you feel for me. And I’m super strong.

“You can call me whatever. I’m sorry that I didn’t add one 100% Caucasian person into the mix of the women that I admire, but it really says more about you than it does about me. And I think that what’s interesting is, the very first time I decided to tell you anything about my life, or the fact that I’m writing books that chronicle that fragility, that 200,000 hateful, spiteful comments come in. And my phone number leaked, and ... it’s the opposite of the spirit of the advocate. It’s what causes fragility, but it’s not gonna stop me, period. So I just want to say, nobody gets to tell your story except for you ... even if that means it’s kind of messy like this along the way. Because, unfortunately, when you have a good heart, it doesn’t always shine through. And you ... trudge on anyway. You make those personal reparations to heal your own family karmic lineage and the sickness of this country.

“Domestic abuse, mental health problems is the second epidemic that’s arising out of this pandemic. It’s a real thing. That’s what I was talking about. So as ever, I’m grateful that my muse is still here and that I have, over the last three years, been blessed to have the insight and ability to channel two books’ worth of beautiful poems. And I think my new record, ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club,’ is special as well. And I’m sorry that a couple of the girls that I’ve talked to who are mentioned in that post have a super different opinion of my insight, especially because we’ve been so close for so long. But it really ... makes you reach into the depths of your own heart and say, ‘Am I good-intentioned?’ and of course, for me, the answer is always, ‘Yes.’


“I barely ever share a thing. And this is why. And the reason why I’m making this post — and I know it seems a bit much, right? — but there are women out there like me who have so much to give and don’t quite get to the place, spiritually or karmically, where they’re supposed to be because there are other women who hate them and try and take them down, whether in my case it’s certain alternative singers or mal-intented journalists or men who hate women. But I’m not the enemy. And I’m definitely not racist, so don’t get it twisted. Nobody gets to tell your story except for you. And that’s what I’m going to do in the next couple books. So God bless, and, yeah, ... off if you don’t like the post.”

“This is sad to make it about a [women of color] issue,” Lana Del Rey said of the backlash she drew for a message name-checking several female artists of color.

May 22, 2020