Rihanna has kept a relatively low profile lately, but now she’s being shoved back into the spotlight — and not in a good way. She has found herself in hot water after making some controversial comments about former NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal in the newest cover story for Vanity Fair.
In the interview, Rihanna made open and candid admissions about everything from her sex life to her past with Chris Brown. But it’s her statements on Dolezal that are unsurprisingly earning the most attention.
“I think she was a bit of a hero, because she kind of flipped on society a little bit,” she said of Dolezal, who drew harsh criticism and resigned from the NAACP earlier this year after it was exposed that she lied about her race. “Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black? Black is a great thing, and I think she legit changed people’s perspective a bit and woke people up.”
Dolezal sparked a national debate over racial identity in June after her biological parents, who are white, disclosed that their daughter has been falsely representing herself as a black woman. Though Dolezal resigned as president of the organization’s Spokane, Washington, chapter, she refused to apologize and went on to defend her actions in interviews with Vanity Fair and the Today show.
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Needless to say, people aren’t exactly happy with Rihanna’s labeling of Dolezal as a hero. Dozens have taken to their Twitter accounts to express disbelief and anger at Rihanna’s statements.
Rihanna calling Rachel Dolezal a hero is obviously a typo… help. pic.twitter.com/H0nCKd2qvT
— Johnny Boy 🧚🏽♂️✨ (@JohnTheFame) October 6, 2015
Me, when I read Rihanna's comments on Rachel Dolezal https://t.co/px1UubgFPI
— Gugulethu Mhlungu (@GugsM) October 6, 2015
when Rihanna says Rachel Dolezal's a hero pic.twitter.com/Ni3yh2cHRd
— Jess Talwar (@jesstalwar) October 6, 2015
Rihanna called Rachel Dolezal a hero…….i'm assuming she meant the sandwich? pic.twitter.com/9GPnTx7CuC
— Dub (@DubOnDaBeatz) October 6, 2015
— LORD OF THE AUX CORD (@pradahungry) October 6, 2015
Rihanna, for her part, has not responded to the backlash yet. But she is definitely no stranger to controversy, and did make some telling and now all-too-relevant statements to Vanity Fair about being in the public eye. As she explained, “Artists sign a deal to make music; we didn’t sign to be perfect, or to be role models.”