Last week was the end of something beautiful. After 15 seasons American Idol has ended its run and while I didn’t tune in, it was impossible not to notice the big-haired talent gracing my feed weekly. The 22 year-old La’Porsha Renae from Mississippi.
Her hair is reminiscent of Chaka Khan and Diana Ross–drawing viewer’s attention, while her soulful and timeless voice captures the heart. She is enthralling–her crowning afro–defiant. That’s why it was such a shocker when host, Ryan Seacrest, announced Trent Harmon winner at the finale.
The twitterverse was upset.
Waiting for Steve Harvey to come out on stage like " Sorry, I made a mistake, it says it right on the card La'Porsha Renae" #IdolFinale
— Xavier T (@Zaythoven_06) April 8, 2016
Not. Happy. #IdolFinale
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) April 8, 2016
Shortly after the finale, Scott Borchetta, President of Big Machine Records announced Renae would be the first artist signed to Big Machine Records/Motown label.
“Because of the overwhelming fan demand and success of the farewell season of American Idol, we have made the decision to sign both the winner, Trent Harmon, and runner-up, La’Porsha Renae, to exclusive recording agreements,” Borchetta tells Billboard.
But has the new celebrity already damaged her career before she’s gotten started?
Yesterday reports surfaced that the Mississippi-born singer isn’t exactly ok with the LGBT community. When asked about her thoughts on the recent signing of House Bill 1523, an anti-LGBT law that excludes the LGBT community from anti-discrimination rights based on the idea of religious liberty, Renae had this to say:
“They are people just like us. They’re not animals as someone stated before. They’re people with feelings. Although all of us may not agree with that particular lifestyle for religious reasons, whatever the reason is, you still treat each other with respect. Everybody is a human being. We should be able to coexist with one another.”
She went on to clarify:
“I am one of the people who don’t really agree with that lifestyle. I wasn’t brought up that way. It wasn’t how I was raised. But I do have a lot of friends and a lot of people that I love dearly who are gay and homosexual and they’re such sweet, nice people. We should just respect each other’s differences and opinions and move on.”
Her comments quickly received backlash.
— Get Your Life Girl (@GYLGNYC) April 12, 2016
La'porsha Renae just ruined her own career. I was rooting for your girl. Now I just can't support you.
— The Peculiar One (@NotMyBirthday21) April 12, 2016
— antisocialista? (@antisocialista) April 12, 2016
Renae took to Periscope (while driving with her daughter in the car) to address the controversy, apologizing for offending anyone and stating she was caught off guard (5:00 minute mark).
“It was supposed to be an interview about singing, and it became political and I’m not a political person, at all.”
If Renae hopes to repair the damage her words have caused she’s going to need to look into hiring a PR rep or do better than that.