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Boohoo ends partnership with DaBaby following controversial festival remarks

By | Published on Thursday 29 July 2021


UK-based fashion firm Boohoo has ended its brand partnership with the rapper DaBaby because, well, you know, he’s an idiot.

The online clothing retailer’s decision follows the controversy surrounding widely criticised comments that the rapper made during a performance at the Rolling Loud Miami festival on Sunday, which were both homophobic and spread misinformation about HIV and AIDs.

Earlier this week, as the controversy was building, Boohoo told reporters that it was reviewing its previous brand partnership with DaBaby following his remarks. Then yesterday the fashion brand said in a statement: “BoohooMAN condemn the use of homophobic language and confirm we will no longer be working with DaBaby”.

It added: “Diversity and inclusion are part of the Boohoo Group’s DNA and we pride ourselves on representing the diverse customers we serve across the globe. We stand by and support the LGBTQ+ community, and do not tolerate any hate speech or discrimination in any form”.

During his Rolling Loud set at the weekend DaBaby declared: “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up. Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone lighter up! Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up!”

Among those expressing concern about the remarks was the US-based Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which explained: “The rhetoric that DaBaby used is inaccurate, hurtful, and harmful to the LGBTQ community and the estimated 1.2 million Americans living with HIV. It is critical that DaBaby and his fans learn that people living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV”.

Having initially further fuelled the controversy with comments on social media on Monday, the rapper kind of half apologised on Tuesday, saying on Twitter: “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”.

However, he then made things worse again yesterday with a long waffly post on Instagram, and a new video on YouTube which ends with the caption “Don’t Fight Hate With Hate” in rainbow colours, and then, “my apologies for being me, the same way you want the freedom to be you”. This echoes comments made by TI earlier this week, where he basically suggested that if Lil Nas X is allowed to be openly gay, DaBaby should be allowed to be openly homophobic.