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DaBaby Ghosted Us, Say HIV Organizations

DaBaby

After rapper DaBaby made ignorant and derogatory comments about LGBTQ+ people, women, and people living with HIV over the summer, he met with Black leaders from several HIV and LGBTQ+ organizations, and they said he engaged in a “meaningful dialogue.” But now some say they haven’t heard from him since, and he hasn’t made any donations to them.

“Though we felt the conversation was extremely powerful a couple months ago, we haven’t heard anything back as an organization since our conversation,” Ian L. Haddock, founder and executive director of the Normal Anomaly Initiative, told The Daily Beast in a story published Wednesday.

“Since then, we have not received any outreach, partnership, or funding from DaBaby,” said Pavni Guharoy, a communications consultant for the Black AIDS Institute. “The onus is now on him, if he chooses to, to convert his misinformation into allyship by supporting the work of the Black AIDS Institute and other people of color-led HIV organizations.”

Venita Ray, co-executive director of Positive Women’s Network, told the Beast her group had had no further contact with DaBaby either and had not received a donation. The other organizations in the meeting did not respond to the Beast’s requests for comment, nor did the rapper himself. The others are GLAAD, Gilead COMPASS, NMAC, Prevention Access Campaign, Southern AIDS Coalition, and Transinclusive Group.

DaBaby came under fire for remarks he made from the stage of the Rolling Loud festival in Miami in July. “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two, three weeks, then put your cell phone light up,” he said, not only stigmatizing people with HIV but also ignoring the fact that current treatments allow them to live long and healthy lives and never progress to an AIDS diagnosis. He also asked women in the audience to raise their phones “if your pussy smell like water” and men to do so if they “ain’t sucking [n word] dick in the parking lot.”

He issued a half-hearted apology, saying he didn’t intend to offend but knew his comments were “insensitive” and that anyone affected by HIV had a right to be upset. But he also doubled down in an Instagram story, in which he said he has gay fans but they “take care of themselves” and don’t engage in that aforementioned sex act in parking lots.

DaBaby was criticized by many in the music industry, including Elton John, Questlove, and Madonna, and was dropped from the lineups of festivals such as Austin City Limits and Lollapalooza as well as a clothing partnership with BoohooMAN. He then put out a more formal apology and met with the organizations.

Now, despite his lack of follow-up on the HIV issue, he’s on another tour, Live Show Killa, which is related to Rolling Loud. “Rolling Loud supports second chances and we believe DaBaby has grown and learned from his experience,” the company said in a statement, according to the Beast.

Standing in contrast to DaBaby is out musician Lil Nas X, Haddock said. Through a campaign named for his song “Industry Baby,” he has “helped raised thousands of dollars” for HIV and LGBTQ+ organizations, the Beast reports.

Tags: Stigma, News

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