Travis Scott speaks up about Amanda Lepore backlash
Three times may be the charm, but Travis Scott’s third album, “ASTROWORLD,” has already turned off some with its transphobic controversy.
In the original album art spread, all sorts of glamorous and lascivious and gleeful figures — among them, trans model Amanda Lepore — can be seen enjoying Scott’s conceptual version of ASTROWORLD amusement park after-hours.
However, as the album drop got closer, Scott released art with Lepore nixed from the photos.
The images were created by David LaChapelle, a gay portrait photographer whose dramatic, larger-than-life shooting style defined images of early 2000s Hollywood. This includes photos of baby doll Lil Kim, goth goddess Aaliyah and Mary J. Blige as the epitome of frosted, bossy R+B perfection. LaChapelle has also captured queer icons including a photosynthesizing Angelina Jolie, Amber Rose as cupid, burlesque Alan Cumming and greaser K.D. Lang.
When LaChapelle was questioned by Lepore about the removal, XXL reports that the photographer commented, “Because you were a bad, bad, girl. LOL. It's not for any other reason."
The day after the album’s release, Scott put out a press statement regarding the queer erasure from his album art. Thanking Lepore for being apart of the photoshoot, Scott proclaimed that how “everyone is welcome to ASTROWORLD” and how the creative energy surrounding the album was from a place of love, not hate.
“Growing up, I’ve been taught to accept everyone. Not to cats people away, but bring them into your home! I have nothing but respect for the LGBTQ community. I want to use my voice to make it clear that everyone on this planet is as equal and fucking awesome to the next. Me and LaChapelle set out to create images — that I grew up watching him create for years — that inspire me today.”
Scott went on further to say that he and LaChapelle will be releasing a booklet with the original images, including the one with Lepore. She reposted the statement on Instagram, saying, “Nothing but love for Travis Scott and David LaChapelle. Thank you for having me and I’m glad to be part of this album.” 🍒