Billie Eilish is catching some heat. On Monday, the 17-year-old singer released her latest single, “Wish You Were Gay.” The track — a slow ballad with big electronic clap percussion sung in Eilish’s trademark forlorn rasp — was met with almost immediate backlash. Many of the song’s critics felt the tracks titled paired with its juvenile narrative premise (the song’s protagonist wishes the reason for her crush not reciprocating her romantic feelings is that he’s gay) is misguided and potentially insulting to the LGBTQ community.
On Thursday, Eilish spoke to PopBuzz and responded to the negative reaction that the song is receiving. “I feel like it’s been a little bit misinterpreted. I tried so hard to not make it in any way offensive,” the “Bury A Friend” singer said.
Following the song’s release, many detractors accused Eilish of “queerbaiting,” or using homosexuality and the title’s suggestion that she herself might be gay as a sensational provocation to lure in LGBTQ listeners. Eilish, however, disputed this, telling PopBuzz, “The whole idea of the song is, it’s kind of a joke. It’s kind of like ‘I’m an ass and you don’t love me. And you don’t love me because you don’t love me and that’s the only reason and I wish you didn’t love me because you didn’t love girls.”
Eilish’s forthcoming album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is expected to be released sometime this year.