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Troye Sivan Responds to Backlash of ‘Rush’ Video: ‘I Definitely Hear the Critique’

Some gays weren’t feeling the ‘Rush’ after watching the video for Troye Sivan’s new song — and the Australian pop star says he now understands why.

Last week, Sivan marked his anticipated musical comeback with the release of sexy, gay, ode-to-poppers earworm “Rush,” and with it arrived a horny, gloryhole-featuring video that had some queer people divided over the body diversity (or lack thereof) within it.

Some, including the homosexual journalist writing this story, criticized Sivan for opting for exclusively skinny, mostly white men in his visual. The video seemed to be a twink, orgy fantasy. And as I tweeted after watching the visual for the first time, it seemed to push the WeHo gay-endorsed narrative of “how white gays choose to view queer people as a whole… just white twinks and chiseled bodies.”

But Sivan is coming clean, and I’m ready to forgive. In a new interview with Billboard, Sivan said he never meant to exclude anyone from his video — and that putting just skinny dudes in the “Rush” visual was simply not intentional.

“I definitely hear the critique,” Sivan said. “To be honest, it just wasn’t a thought we had — we obviously weren’t saying, ‘We want to have one specific type of person in the video.’ We just made the video, and there wasn’t a ton of thought put behind that.”

Sivan’s response is definitely believable, and I respect him for being honest. It is concerning, however, that no one in his cohort of queer friends (or fellow creatives) thought this decision could lead to controversy and division. Sivan has reflected on the backlash, he told Billboard, and even referred to a quasi-review that criticized “Rush” — but also included a harmful comment about thinner people.

“They were talking about [the lack of body diversity], and in the same sentence, this person said, ‘Eat something, you stupid twinks,’” he said. “That really bummed me out to read that — because I’ve had my own insecurities with my body image. I think that everyone’s body is as beautiful as it is, including my own, and it just sucks to see people talking about other people’s bodies.” (He’s right.)

Charli XCX — Sivan’s “1999” collaborator and gay man goddess — shared her own thoughts on the conversation, describing gays’ ask for body diversity in art as “boring discourse.”

“I feel like we live in a world where audiences feel like expression or art isn’t worth their time unless it appeases every single unspoken requirement. IT IS SO BORING,” Charli wrote. “If something breaks common aesthetics it’s ‘weird’ or ‘try hard’ if something conforms it’s ‘offensive’ and ‘not diverse enough.”

It’s interesting that twinks and fit bodies are viewed as “common aesthetics” to Charli, and fat or non-skinny gays are not though. Perhaps it’s more of a representation of who some pop stars choose to surround themselves with.


She did make a good point in her follow-up tweet, though, referring to the backlash Sam Smith has received for tackling “the topics of eroticism and sex and sexiness” and featuring diverse bodies. “Basically what I’m saying is – no one can ever successfully make art for everyone in this current world, nor should they try to,” she wrote. (She has a point.)

Anywhomst, the gays are excited for the new era of Troye Sivan. Me included. “Rush” is the lead single off his third album, Something to Give Each Other, on Oct. 13. The something I’ll give Sivan is some grace.

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