BoohooMAN Drops DaBaby from Campaign for Comments About HIV, LGBTQ+ community
By: Alyssa Wilson
Fashion brand boohooMAN has dropped rapper DaBaby after he made disparaging comments during his set at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami.
During his performance, the rapper asked people to shine their flashlights if they “didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS” and other comments about members of the LGBTQ+ community, NBC News reported. He later addressed his comments on Instagram Live, saying his gay and straight fans enjoyed the show.
He later tweeted about the incident apologizing for his comments, saying, “Anybody who done ever been affected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies.”
Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies ??
But the LGBT community… I ain’t trippin on y’all, do you. y’all business is y’all business.
— DaBaby (@DaBabyDaBaby) July 27, 2021
Despite the apology, the fallout was great as many spoke out against his behavior. On Wednesday, boohooMAN released a statement on social media saying, “boohooMAN condemns the use of homophobic language and confirms we will no longer be working with DaBaby. Diversity and inclusion are part of the boohoo Groups DNA and we pride ourselves on representing the diverse customers we serve across the globe.”
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The 100-piece collection with DaBaby was released in June. The company also released a Pride collection during the same month, Retail Gazette reported.
Celebrities in the music industry have been speaking out against DaBaby’s comments. Elton John tweeted that he was “shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made” by the rapper, saying it “fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
(1/5) We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.
The facts are: pic.twitter.com/MqCv3vWiz2
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) July 28, 2021
Singer Victoria Monét offered to replace the rapper’s verse on the song Levitating with Dua Lupa.
If she would like to replace DaBaby’s verse on levitating I’m totally available https://t.co/UNVhH0gDEU
— Victoria Monét (@VictoriaMonet) July 27, 2021
Rapper T.I., who is facing his own controversy after numerous sexual assault allegations were made public against him and his wife, supported DaBaby, saying if Lil Nas X, who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, can live his truth, then DaBaby can speak his.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, it is a myth that HIV is a “gay or LGBT disease.” While the raters are disproportionately higher among the groups, the disease is not confined to members of the community. “Calling HIV a ‘gay’ or ‘LGBTQ’ disease is medically untrue and only serves to perpetuate harmful stereotypes about people living with HIV and members of the LGBT community,” the organization said.
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.