On Wednesday, John posted a series of tweets condemning homophobic comments recently made by rapper DaBaby at Rolling Live over the weekend. During his set, DaBaby said, “If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up” as well as “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”
Upon realizing his remarks prompted controversy, DaBaby decided to dig himself into a deeper hole, hopping on Instagram to insist that his gay fans “don’t got fuckin’ AIDS” and “take care of themselves” because they’re not “nasty” and have “class.”
DaBaby finally attempted an apology on Tuesday, tweeting, “Anybody who done ever been effected by AIDS/HIV y’all got the right to be upset, what I said was insensitive even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies.”
But the damage was done, as evidenced by Elton John entering the chat.
“We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show,” John tweeted. “This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”
John, who founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation nearly 30 years ago, went on to explain all of the ways in which DaBaby’s comments were not only extremely harmful but also exceptionally off-base:
“HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities. [...] In America, a gay black man has a 50% lifetime chance of contracting HIV. Stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability. We need to break down the myths and judgements and not fuel these. [...] You can live a long and healthy life with HIV. Treatment is so advanced that with one pill a day, HIV can become undetectable in your body so you can’t pass it onto other people. [...] Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society and industry and as musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities. A musician’s job is to bring people together.”
DaBaby has yet to respond or acknowledge John’s tweets, but what else is there to say in the face of such a proper shutdown?