TLC found themselves in an awkward predicament after recent comments regarding their take on other females in entertainment were misunderstood. An interview, which aired on the Australian morning show, Sunrise, had Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas expressing that they felt that another pop singer, Rihanna, was more concerned with selling sex than actual talent. It stirred controversy and eventually, Rihanna blasted the group on social media in retaliation. On Tuesday, TLC sat down for another interview, this time with Yahoo! Music, to set the record straight and clear the air.
They explained that Sunrise had taken their comments out of context and used it to cause issues that were never there. According to T-Boz, it all began when an interviewer asked her if she had seen the much talked about dress that Rihanna wore to the CFDA Awards on June 2. She responded that she had not, considering she was busy preparing the tour she is currently on while in Australia. She was then asked how she felt about females in entertainment. Rihanna was never specifically mentioned, but there was an image of the star shown during the interview when it aired.
“We never mentioned anyone [by name],” T-Boz said of the comments. “The unfortunate thing is we were trying to give a positive message to young girls. What we were saying was: it’s cool if you don’t want to wear clothes. You don’t have to feel forced [to do that].”
“They spliced my comments and manipulated the interview to get a good story.”
Chilli chimed in as well, saying that although Rihanna may often dress provocatively, their comments were targeted to many females and males in the entertainment industry.
“It’s not just singers,” she stated. “It’s actors, actresses, [and] singers. If they feel comfortable doing that and that’s their thing, then whatever; that works for them. You don’t have to go that route if you don’t want to.”
The initial comments made their way back to Rihanna, who posted a topless picture of TLC as her Twitter header picture, calling T-Boz “an old thot” (an acronym in slang that stands for “that h*e over there”). Interestingly enough, the picture Rihanna attempted to use as her basis for argument holds a deeper significance.
“The one picture in our 22-year career [where we were naked] was for breast cancer awareness,” T-Boz explained. Chilli went a step further and shared a story about another picture of her that Rihanna never used, where she also posed naked.
“There was a picture of me in a magazine and it was about loving your body,” she shared. “For us, if we do something like that, there is a reason behind it.”
The feud between TLC and Rihanna seemed to die out rather quickly between them, but their fan bases continued to speak out; some a bit more strongly than others.
“This conversation was never about her anyway,” T-Boz mentioned. “The thing that is saddening [about it all] is that our youth today. When you’re riding [or supporting] for an artist and you start threatening lives, y’all are taking it too far.”
Rihanna eventually removed the image from the header of her Twitter profile and T-Boz explained that the entire thing was just “dumb crap”. Ever (crazy, sexy and) cool about the mishap, TLC hoped that if any other artists, like Rihanna, had an issue with them, they would confront them personally, as opposed to ranting all over social media. “We’re artists,” Chilli said in closing. “We’re women and we can [converse] like that, if you have an issue.”
By Jonathan Brown
Guardian Liberty Voice