Iggy Azalea will no longer headline the Pittsburgh Pride festival following a swirl of homophobia allegations against the rapper.
Azalea announced on Twitter Monday night that she has dropped out of Pittsburgh Pride in the Street, which is scheduled for Saturday. The announcement comes after LGBT groups pulled out of the parade to protest her involvement.
A message to Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/Jm6ZyX0Xyc
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) June 9, 2015
The Australian rapper has a history of offensive and homophobic tweets. Also problematic is her appropriation of black culture and the exclusionary message she might send as the headliner of a Pride event, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette noted. City Council President Bruce Kraus, Pittsburgh's first openly gay elected official, denounced the selection of Azalea, saying he will not participate in this month's Pride events. Kraus noted that he has "serious concerns" about this year's parade as well as the long-term vision of the leadership of the Delta Foundation, the LGBT group that chose Azalea as the main act.
The foundation was accused of catering to wealthy, white gay men with the selection, according to the Pittsburgh City Paper. Following Azalea's cancellation, the group released a statement apologizing for the controvery.
Since our initial announcement, we have been working very closely with Ms. Azalea’s management, publicists and agent regarding the concerns of some of our community. Pittsburgh Pride is about our community and allies coming together and showing how diverse and accepting we are as a city. Over the years, we have seen many hearts and minds change including support for marriage equality, treating all with dignity and respect and most recently the support for Caitlyn Jenner. We’re sorry that our headliner choice caused a division within our community but we believe that change happens through conversation. We are meeting with key LGBT leaders to start a discussion that will make our collective community even stronger.
Last year, Azalea talked to the Advocate about homophobia, saying that it stems from a lack of exposure.
[Homophobia] comes from ignorance and homophobes not being around enough gay people,” she said. “I think straight men, especially in hip-hop, have this notion that a gay man is going to come and make them gay or try to have sex with them, and I always think that’s so weird ... People just need to be exposed to it long enough for it to not be scary anymore. That’s the case with a lot of rappers. They haven’t been around very many different people, and a lot of them aren’t very well traveled. It’s just a lack of culture.
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