Aquaria SLAMS Travis Scott’s Apology Following Album Artwork Controversy

6 August 2018, 17:58

By Sam Prance

The RuPaul's Drag Race winner is not here for transphobia...

Travis Scott dropped his third album ASTROWORLD last Friday. The LP received widespread critical acclaim and is currently on track to become his second US Number 1 album. However, the release didn't come without controversy. Before the new record came out, Travis and David LaChapelle (who shot the album art) unveiled its cover and there was one big difference: Travis had edited out trans model Amanda Lepore from his version.

Aquaria & Travis Scott
Aquaria & Travis Scott. Picture: David Livingston/Getty Images // Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

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Unsurprisingly, this decision sparked backlash on and offline. Many accused Travis of transphobia for taking Amanda off the official cover art. On Saturday, Travis responded to the backlash. Taking to Twitter the 'Butterfly Effect' rapper wrote: "I have nothing but respect for the LGBTQ community. I want to use my voice to make it clear that everyone on this planet is equal and f--king awesome to the next."

Read the full statement here.

It's brilliant to see a star of his stature use such positive words about the LGBTQ+ community but it still seems like a bizarre decision to take Amanda off of the artwork. Travis did go on to imply that he removed Amanda from the original art because she upstaged Travis ("Amanda you did upstage everyone even me") but people still weren't buying it.

RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10 winner Aquaria had a lot to say. The drag superstar tweeted that Travis' statement sounded like “an apologist mad lib"and then added that she was “surprised he remembered to remove his publicist's name from the bottom of that message.”

The beloved drag queen then went on to question Travis' excuse. She said: "If someone is upstaging something in the back of a picture, (that’s not even being used as the actual album cover, if I understand correctly) is the message that is implied because of their removal worth it in 2018? Or do we just love a controversy to grab a headline?”

Not only that but Aquaria even referenced a video from a show in 2015 in which Scott "spout[s] genuinely scary anti-LGBTQ trash”. In it Scott is seen gassing up a crowd saying: “I ain’t cool with none of you f----ts. You just sitting here looking like a bunch of queers.” Scott has since apologised for the incident but it doesn't make it okay.

Amazing. Ultimately, it seems as though Travis' intentions weren't bad but this serves as an important reminder that people need to be more careful of their actions and words with regards to the LGBTQ+ community. It is possible for people to be unintentionally transphobic and it's important that we reflect and listen to queer people when we are called out.

Hopefully Travis will be more attentive in future.