For the first time, Normani is opening up on her former bandmate, Camila Cabello’s, past racist social media behavior.
In her new Rolling Stone cover story, Normani penned a statement via email—to avoid having her words misconstrued—about how it felt to remain bandmates with Cabello in the midst of her controversial remarks. She also opened up about receiving daily, racist bullying from online trolls and Fifth Harmony fans.
Normani explained that she chose not to acknowledge the situation with Cabello for so long because she didn’t want the controversy to remain a part of her narrative, but she ultimately spoke out because she is “a part of an entire generation that has a similar story.”
“I face senseless attacks daily, as does the rest of my community. This represents a day in the life for us. I have been tolerating discrimination far before I could even comprehend what exactly was happening,” wrote the pop star. “Direct and subliminal hatred has been geared towards me for many years solely because of the color of my skin.”
In regards to Cabello’s past social media posts using racist verbiage, Normani admitted to hiding her hurt and disappointment from the situation. The posts in question showcased disturbing screenshot messages from Cabello referring to Normani as the N-word and a video of herself painting her bandmate Lauren Jauregui’s nails while speaking in an exaggerated Asian accent. Cabello acknowledged and apologized for the posts last year, saying she was young and “embarrassingly ignorant and unaware” of how her words were perceived.
“It would be dishonest if I said that this particular scenario didn’t hurt me. It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood, because I knew that if the tables were turned I would defend each of them in a single heartbeat,” continued Normani.
“It took days for her to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced,” continued the singer. “Whether or not it was her intention, this made me feel like I was second to the relationship that she had with her fans.”
Towards the end of her statement, Normani expressed that she believes everyone deserves the right to grow from their mistakes—including Cabello.
“I don’t want to say that this situation leaves me hopeless because I believe that everyone deserves the opportunity for personal growth. I really hope that an important lesson was learned in this,” said Normani. “I hope there is genuine understanding about why this was absolutely unacceptable.”
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