2014 mtvU Woodie Awards And Festival - Performance

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea’s The New Classic dropped yesterday, and Azalea stopped by New York radio station Hot 97 for an especially explicit interview. You might expect this sort of thing to stay light and fluffy, but right out of the gate, the subject of sexual assault came up. “I had to stop [crowdsurfing]…” Azalea said. “I’m only doing like 2000-seaters, but I still have to have barriers even if it’s like 200 people because people try to finger me.” She also mentioned that she wears two pairs of underwear plus tights on stage now for protection, and that she’s faced assault from women especially. “Girls will try to do it more than guys ’cause girls think it’s cool, like, ’We both got vaginas, it’s fine.’ Doesn’t make it OK.” Definitely not OK.

Here’s more Azalea had to say on the subject:

I will get lurk tweets for like a week before my show, like “I’m about to go to the Iggy Azalea show and I’m going to finger her,” and I’ll see it and be like, please don’t! That’s a violation. I don’t actually like that stuff.

Like, they think I’m real slutty, like “Oh, she got a song called ’Pussy,’ I know what she wants. She wants these two fingers.” Why would I want a stranger to ever finger me? Buying my album for $12 doesn’t mean you get to finger me when I come to your city.

Interviewers Peter Rosenberg and Ebro Darden also bring up Azalea’s preferred sexual positions, the size of her boyfriend’s penis, her standards for the pole-dancers in her stage show, how she compares her own performance in bed to what she sees in the porn she watches, and how amazing her ass is. By continually lobbing sex-related questions at her without even making an attempt to address her music, they are reinforcing the attitudes that lead her so-called fans to think of her as their plaything. Watch the 11-minute interview below.

The New Classic is out now on Island Def Jam.

[Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images.]

Comments (48)
  1. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • It happens to all female performers who stage dive, regardless of if their success is down to their talent or their looks. Should women have to wear burqas to be taken seriously as musicians?

      • The unnoticed aspect looking thru all these comments that is being IGNORED is, the majority of those who sexually assaulted Iggy were FEMALES. No one talks about that, but even I a male wouldn’t think it o.k for a girl to be touching like that when trying to just perform and make a living. Poor Iggy I have a lot of respect for her

  2. This was awful. She seems very articulate and knowledgeable. Why she even agreed to interview with these bros is beyond me.

    • Agreed, this came off more like a couple of pervy guys seeing how far they could push it rather than an interview.

    • Yes, but at the same time, she proceeded to answer the questions, and as Chris alluded to, when you electively put that much personal sex life info out there and then get upset when people get the wrong idea (i.e. the gross fingering threats.) You can’t have it both ways when you put it out there like that, but I do agree the interviewers are douchey bros and it reminds me of a recent Lorde interview she did where the radio hosts tried to make a thing out of her and Taylor Swift being bisexual lovers, and she completely shut them down for the rest of the interview. Iggy could have done just the same, but alas, she gave the world TMI that they’ll use against her and it will irk her.

      • There is no winning though. Either she plays along and people say “well what do you expect” when people treat her like a sex object or she shuts them down or refuses to answer and she’ll be labelled as a difficult bitch.

        Besides talking about sex is never an invitation to sexually assault someone.

      • God, I don’t particularly care how much she wants to talk about her sex life, but I think that’s totally fine. Society has made such a big deal about it, but ultimately it’s not a terrible thing to talk to.
        Which makes me kinda upset about your commentary, and about all these comments, is that you’re somehow saying that “she’s looking for” that kinda attention by saying those things when they’re completely unrelated.
        You cannot justify sexual assaults by the amount of words someone has said about her sex life. It’s like justifying it by a girl’s skirt length on the moment she was sexually assaulted.
        I think this is very preoccupying, and should be addressed more carefully.

        • I responded below

        • I don’t disagree with you, and I think the problem isn’t so much with her being open about it, but what happens when that information falls into the wrong ears, because to be frankly honest, most people — especially your average Internet chatter types — are idiots and don’t possess the mental capacity to think harder about complex social topics.

    • I don’t understand why some people here are up in arms about these interviewers throwing sexually loaded questions at her – you guys are aware she devotes entire songs to topics like getting eaten out (see: “Pu$$y”), correct? Given that she’s decided to market herself entirely on her sexuality, and seems more comfortable discussing that than her actual music, I see nothing wrong with it.

      That being said, this was extremely uninteresting.

  3. Stereogum: News you can use.

  4. Everyone involved in this interview should be embarrassed. This was terrible all around.

  5. This is a completely shit interview. These guys sound like fucking idiots. Just stupid as hell.

  6. I don’t give a shit who you are or what you do even if you are a prostitute. No one I repeat NO ONE has the right to touch you in a way that is inappropriate or unwarranted, regardless of what you are wearing, saying or doing. Period. Full stop. These asshole in this interview are just terrible tho. If I were her I would have left publicity is not worth being treated like an object.

  7. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  8. The use of the term “sex object” as opposed to, say, sex icon, is pretty unnerving. I don’t see how Sky Ferreira’s video can elicit long discussions on racism yet something like this, straight sexual assault, doesn’t bother as many people. Sure she is extremely open about her sex life and obviously dresses provocatively, but I don’t blame her. How many female pop stars really get anywhere with using their looks? The cost of making art as a woman these days basically requires it. I know this double standard is apparent so there isn’t much need for me to expound on its harm, but I just wish that people would take something like this more seriously. Really peeves me that we can talk about the nuances of “incidental racism” and cultural appropriation, but we just gloss over a comment like hers.

  9. To be clear: The intent of the sentence “Who could possibly imagine why her fans have turned her into a sex object?” is not to blame or “slut-shame” Iggy for this sad state of affairs, but to blame the guys on the radio for focusing entirely on sex at the expense of any discussion of the music. By continually lobbing sex-related questions at her without even making an attempt to address her music, they are reinforcing the attitudes that lead her so-called fans to think of her as their plaything. There’s no way they would have approached an interview with a man this way. I’m definitely not suggesting that Iggy openly discussing her sex life means “she was asking for it,” and I recognize that she is in a difficult position because if she shuts them down she will be labeled as a bitch. All I meant is that there is a connection between the way people treat her in the media and the way people treat her at her shows.

  10. Markets 90% of her act on her sexual assets; gets mad about people making sexual comments about her.

    No, I’m not “slut-shaming”. And I’m not saying she deserves it or shouldn’t be proud of her ginormous ass, I’m just saying she can’t really be THAT surprised.

    Compare and contrast with Rihanna, who is extremely open about her sexuality and body and nudity, and during fan meet and greets she does sexual poses with dudes (and girls) all the time for fun.

    Far be it from me to tell a girl to embrace the perves in her fanbase but at the same time don’t try to deny the sexual appeal you add on by flaunting and bragging about your ass (or pussy).

    On a side note, anyone trying to finger a total stranger needs to be arrested.

  11. Clearly, the problem here is that she is Australian! Aussie chicks dress like American prostitutes in short skirts and stiletto high heels, then expect people not to react?? Crazy! And stupid. If she really doesn’t want to get fingered, she can cover her fat ass with a pair of jeans, I suppose. It’s like the “bee to a flower” analogy. If you don’t want a bee probing your pollen, ugly up!

    • First of all, nationality has nothing to do. She should be able to wear what she wants without getting treated differently from anyone else. NOT BECAUSE THERE IS A NAKED CHICK IN THE STREETS IT MEANS THAT YOU HAVE A TICKET TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO HER, DOES IT NOW?! No. Your argument shows nothing but ignorance and truly the spirit that keeps women from speaking up to what they want.

  12. Iggy $$$$ has a great voice and a sassy style. I love the fact that she is broaching this subject, which is VERY awkward and uncomfortable. Yes, she knows she’s selling her sexy self to the 13 year old boys and girls that love her. Yes, her manager & record label are psyched that she’s open to doing this. Its ALL about the dollars baby. In a society based on capitalism, she’s playing the role that will take her laughing all the way to the bank. $$$$$

  13. Never heard of her.

  14. It’s weird how a successful white person can still be the lowest class. It’s hard to do that so good job to her.

  15. Here is a trade for you girl. We will stop trying to finger blast you and in exchange you stop crowd surfing with no underwear dragging your trimmed beaver a quarter inch from my nose. I dont care who you are , if you stick your cooch literally in my face when it is in its full glory , you kinda consented at that point. Personal responsability , try it sometime. You don’t want to get mugged don’t hang out at a crack house , dont want to get finger blasted don’t crowd surf commando. Be happy girl , take it as a compliment , if it was Courtney Love the Bactine and air freshners would be broken out and no one would catch her even if she fell let alone blast her.

    • Did she ever crowdsurf literally naked? No. Did she ask you for it? No. Woah, it seems that your beast-like instincts have led you to what your primate ancestors would have applauded for you to do. If a girl, let’s say a Femen came to you naked to protest something, or shirtless. Does that give you a ticket to rape her? Hah, no, you’ll get your ass slapped.

  16. Psh, so much arguing over a poorly written article. If you read the article, but don’t watch the interview video, you probably think that these guys actually fingered her themselves.. with awful questions. But really they picked her brain and played with some colorful questions with some dumb banter and comments in between. Because she is a “pop star” with what the average person might consider controversial lyrics and suggestive stage dancing, of course people are going to assume she wants to be sexually open with everyone. Anyone remember Christina Aguilera? Did anyone, either guys or girls, not want to finger her? She was way worse than this girl, granted, but honestly she almost “deserved” it for wearing almost nothing. Go to the Middle East, where men hide their women in garbs so that other men will not sexually “oppress” or try to steal them. This pop star obviously puts on a good act for her fans to get this sort of attention. The guys in the interview poke around with some broad questions about sex and are trying to get her to admit that she is pretty much a normal person, which I believe she defends. Obviously dating an NBA star has this stigma where you have to be open to letting him bang whatever he feels like but this girl seems too innocent to just let that happen. People get these sheaths over their eyes with famous people because they don’t see how normal they are when they aren’t in the limelight. This isn’t a women’s lib/equal rights issue, it’s an identity issue. You see a girl wearing shorts so high you can see her cheeks, and half her chest is hanging out, you think “yeah I wanna bang the hell out of that,” not, “I’m gonna take her on a nice date and show her to my mom.”

  17. So what you’re saying is, she’s asking for it? Well, aren’t you pure class.

  18. The interviewers should have been charged with sexual harassment.
    What they did was unprofessional, and frankly, illegal. And so is fingering a woman without her consent.
    It saddens me to see that we are still living in a time where men are justifying this type of behaviour by saying “she was asking for it.” I have no idea who Iggy Azaelia’s publicist is, but they should have been fired for even allowing this to go on beyond the first question. Seriously, she should press charges. This is not what women like my mother fought their whole careers for in the second wave of feminism. They shame her and they shame themselves.

  19. I registered just to leave this comment. I watched the entire video and read the article. They completely objectified this woman and insinuated she was to blame for the negative attention. This is a classic misogynistic rape-apology. So are half of the previous comments. This was not a good interview by any professional standard and she should have walked after he mentioned her ass for the third time. It was pretty clear the bearded guy only saw her as a sexual object and that’s how he was presenting her to his audience. The other guy tried to reel him him in a bit in the middle, but Creepy McBeard wasn’t having it. He kept steering the interview back to her body. It was lecherous and disgusting and no woman deserves to be treated like this regardless of her stage antics and attire. Is this what passes for radio now? I don’t know because I’ve had satellite radio since 2005.

  20. So she releases cheap misogynistic music that glorifies women who act like sluts yet she gets upset when men treat her like one?

  21. To be taken seriously as a musician you don’t need to stage dive,,,,,

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