This past weekend, the Guardian ran an interview with Lorde, and the singer-songwriter talked about the crazy logistics of hanging out with her mega-famous friends like Taylor Swift.
“It’s like having a friend with very specific allergies,” Lorde said. “There are certain places you can’t go together. Certain things you can’t do. There are these different sets of considerations within the friendship. It’s like having a friend with an autoimmune disease.”
After a weekend of outrage, Lorde found herself apologizing for inadvertently offending those with autoimmune diseases after fans called her out on Twitter. A BuzzFeed article ridiculed Lorde for the comparison, noting that several miserable conditions fall under the “autoimmune disease” category.
“Sooo, lemme get this straight,” BuzzFeed wrote. “Lorde thinks having a friend as famous as Taylor is like having a friend with lupus? Or multiple sclerosis? Or type 1 diabetes? GOT IT!”
One Twitter user with juvenile arthritis wrote about how the comparison was “incredible hurtful.”
“Just one comment like hers can make people like me feel like even more of a burden than we already do, can make us feel isolated and sad and worried that it’s difficult to be around us because we can’t do all the fun stuff that everyone else can do,” she wrote. “A comment like that, especially from an influential figure, can cause so much upset and damage.
Another Twitter user, who has chronic pelvic pain syndrome, said Lorde’s comments “really pissed me off.”
“Why did you compare your friendship with Taylor to someone with an autoimmune disease,” a mom wrote. “It was so insensitive and rude. My daughter has that.”
“Wait, so Lorde said some ableist sh*t,” another person wrote. “Having a friend with an autoimmune disorder is a f*cking delight,” tagging a friend.
Confronted on social media, Lorde apologized for her comments.
“I f*cked up & that was really insensitive,” Lorde wrote. “I’m sorry.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.