Doja Cat has built a wildly successful career around being a weirdo: She has a hit song about being a cow, she shaved her head and eyebrows on Instagram Live, and she interacts with fans on social media more than most artists do. But it’s precisely this eccentricity that’s getting on a lot of people’s nerves lately—including those of her own followers.
Over the weekend, Doja went on a prolonged rant against her fans, who call themselves “kittenz” (a name she herself coined years ago). “My fans don’t get to name themselves shit… If you call yourself a ‘Kitten’ or f–king ‘Kittenz’ that means you need to get off your phone and get a job and help your parents with the house,” the singer wrote in a post on Threads.
Fans confronted her about the harshness of the language she used toward people whose adoration has made her a multi-millionaire: “We have supported you through thick and thin. Mind you, you’d be NOTHING without us. You’d be working at a grocery store making songs on fucking garage band, miss high school drop out,” one fan wrote to the singer.
But Doja Cat only escalated things: “Nobody forced you. Idk why you’re talking to me like you’re my mother bitch, you sound like a crazy person,” she replied. When another fan asked Doja what they should change their username to “since you don’t like the term kitten,” Doja replied, “Just delete the entire account and rethink everything it’s never too late.” To top it all off, when a fan asked the artist to say she loves her fans, she said, “I don’t though because I don’t even know y’all.” (Which, truly, lol—fair enough!)
It appears that at least some followed her, um, advice. The Instagram account Doja Cat Brazil, the Doja Cat Stats Twitter account, and other Twitter pages including Doja HQ, The Kittens Room, and Doja Cat News all appeared to shut down their pages in protest of her comments. As of Monday night, the singer seems to have lost about 250,000 followers on Instagram.
The ubiquity of social media has given a lot of super-fans the misplaced notion that they personally know the artists and celebrities they adore. And while Doja Cat’s admonishment is probably a much-needed reality check for some hyper-online fans, she seems to have gone out of her way to deliver it in as cruel a manner as possible.
Doja Cat super-fans have stood by the artist through a lot—I’d argue too much: Her fan base supported her as she mocked Amber Heard on TikTok during her defamation trial against Johnny Depp. They’ve stood by Doja through her alleged history of chatting with white nationalists online, and her use of the homophobic F-slur well into adulthood. Months ago, she was already taking shots at her fans, saying in so many words that people who enjoy her music are stupid and fell for a money-laundering scheme to help get her rich. All of that is to say, she’s dropped plenty of hints that she isn’t exactly the most considerate person. Continuing to stan her all this time has certainly been…a choice.
Some fans are still clinging onto hope that Doja’s latest outbursts are some kind of bit: “Doja does love us but she’s playing the role of Scarlet, they are two different characters,” one Doja fanpage wrote on Instagram on Monday. It sounds pretty out there but I also wouldn’t put it past the artist to troll like this; she has a fairly long history of tryhard, online humor, including her cringe jokes last year about changing her stage name to “Emcee Flapchunks the Third.”
Even as some fans hold the line, who knows how long this terminally online war between artist and fans will go on? If there’s one thing Doja loves to do, it’s compensate for making music that’s fairly mainstream successful by being as much of an edge-lord as possible. Being an ultra-rich social media addict fighting to the death online with the fans who made you rich? That sounds right.