On Friday (May 22), the hashtag #DojaCatIsOverParty began trending after a video surfaced showing chart-topping singer Doja Cat participating in video chats with alleged incels and white supremacists. The surprising videos led internet sleuths to look deeper into her past, and unearth a song she wrote in 2015 called “Dindu Nuffin,” named after a racial slur mocking victims of police brutality.
Late Sunday, the Los Angeles-born singer, whose real name is Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini, issued a statement apologizing for her behavior and her prior music.
“I want to address what’s been happening on Twitter,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “I’ve used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child. I shouldn’t have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations. I’m sorry to everyone I offended.”
Doja continued: “I’m a Black woman. Half of my family is black from South Africa and I’m very proud of where I come from.”
Doja’s father is South African actor Dumisani Dlamini who is best known to American audiences for his appearance in 1992’s Sarafina! along with Whoopi Goldberg.
Doja Cat did confirm she wrote and recorded “Dindu Nuffin,” but says it was a botched attempt to reclaim the term as a person of color.
“As for the old song that’s resurfaced, it was in no way tied to anything outside of my own personal experience,” she wrote. “It was written in response to people who often used that term to hurt me. I made an attempt to flip its meaning, but recognize that it was a bad decision to use the term in my music.”
She continued, “I understand my influence and impact and I’m taking this all very seriously. I love you all and I’m sorry for upsetting or hurting any of you. That’s not my character, and I’m determined to show that to everyone moving forward. Thank you.”
Read her full statement, below:
(Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)