“The rhetoric that DaBaby used is inaccurate, hurtful, and harmful to the LGBTQ community and the estimated 1.2 million Americans living with HIV,” DaShawn Usher, associate director of communities of color for GLAAD, wrote in a statement released via Twitter. “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.”
DaBaby badly fumbled his initial rebuttal to the backlash, arguing that what he says during his live shows is reserved for himself and those in the audience. He then followed that up by claiming “my gay fans don’t got fucking AIDS,” before referring to other gay people who aren’t fans of his as “junkies.”
When the Charlotte native finally released a muddled apology, he compared the backlash to his comments to public awareness towards police brutality, as well as a disjointed rant about individuals and corporations that profit off of Black rappers and their cultural influence.
“While DaBaby has made haphazard attempts to ‘apologize,’ actions need to be taken for full accountability and changes to do better in the future,” Usher continued. “It further confirms what GLAAD reported last year in the State of HIV Stigma Study that stigma and misinformation around HIV is widespread, and there is much work to be done to educate the public, including entertainers.”
T.I. defended DaBaby’s right to spew misinformation about people living with HIV, writing in the comments, “If Lil Nas X can kick his shit in peace… so should DaBaby.” Tip took issue with people accusing him of being homophobic, and spoke about the matter on Instagram Live.
“You can’t make nobody homophobic,” he said, per XXL. “Just because I am proud of what I am don’t make me hate what you are, period. Ain’t no way to tangle or twist that. Ain’t no hate. Ain’t no hate in that, bruh.”
Meanwhile, Lil Nas X’s father Robert Stafford also got involved in the conversation, suggesting that DaBaby “sit down you had your time.”