DaBaby is putting in DaWork to rectify his transgressions.
The rapper “eagerly participated” in an educational meeting with GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and nine HIV-awareness organizations after the fallout from his offensive remarks during his Rolling Loud performance.
The meeting included representatives from Black AIDS Institute, Gilead Sciences COMPASS Initiative Coordinating Centers, GLAAD, National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Positive Women’s Network-USA, Prevention Access Campaign (U=U), the Southern AIDS Coalition, and Transinclusive Group.
The organizations released a joint statement on Tuesday (August 31) that read:
The open letter to DaBaby was our way to extend him the same grace each of us would hope for. Our goal was to ‘call him in instead of calling him out.’
We believed that if he connected with Black leaders living with HIV that a space for community building and healing could be created. We are encouraged he swiftly answered our call and joined us in a meaningful dialogue and a thoughtful, educational meeting.
During our meeting, DaBaby was genuinely engaged, apologized for the inaccurate and hurtful comments he made about people living with HIV, and received our personal stories and the truth about HIV and its impact on Black and LGBTQ communities with deep respect.
We appreciate that he openly and eagerly participated in this forum of Black people living with HIV, which provided him an opportunity to learn and to receive accurate information.
As community leaders who understand the power of conversations as a path to education and evolution, we know that DaBaby received meaningful facts. We were also able to share personal stories about our lives as everyday people who acquired HIV.
Now, we wish for him to use his platform to relay that critical information to his fanbase and encourage people to get tested and know their status.
During our meeting, DaBaby acknowledged that the HIV facts we presented- many of which he himself was unaware of- are what every American needs to know: HIV is preventable and when treated properly, cannot be passed on. At a time when HIV continues to disproportionately impact Black communities, celebrities and influencers of all backgrounds have the power to defeat the stigma that fuels the epidemic.
We must all do our part to make the public aware of medication that can prevent HIV and to get more people tested and treated. Together we can end this epidemic. 40 years is far too long. Stigma hurts; prevention, testing, and treatment work.
It’s great that DaBaby met with these organizations to educate himself.
But, the best apology is changed behavior.