Aquaria SLAMS Travis Scott’s Apology Following Album Artwork Controversy
6 August 2018, 17:58 | Updated: 4 October 2019, 12:27
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.
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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.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ASTROWORLD pic.twitter.com/npNZ53Fzzn— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) August 4, 2018
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.”
“🤪✌🏻 lol I’m an artist! I rly respect the LGBFAGT community! 🤪 David is cool! I’d never put that ****** on the cover but glad we included her in the booklet that no 1 will read that we had to reprint due to this unexpected controversy 🤪 thx 4 understanding queers! 🏳️🌈” pic.twitter.com/svXTBau92Y— Aquaria (@aquariaofficial) August 4, 2018
Surprised he remembered to remove his publicists name from the bottom of that message. Shit reads like an apologist mad lib 🙄 so right the first time and then u won’t need to create excuses.— Aquaria (@aquariaofficial) August 4, 2018
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.
Also 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?— Aquaria (@aquariaofficial) August 4, 2018
Also I’ve tried hard not to share that video of Travis spouting genuinely scary anti-LGBTQ trash from his stage despite everyone tagging me in it. That shit reminds me of moments in my (and others) life(s) that I(we) try not to be reminded of..— Aquaria (@aquariaofficial) August 4, 2018
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.