Sky Ferreira

The LA Weekly article "Sky Ferreira's Sex Appeal Is What Pop Music Needs Right Now" generated widespread outrage when it was published on June 17. The paper's music editor has already apologized for running the story, but The Stranger has obtained an apology/clarification by the profile's author, Art Tavana, excerpted below:

I just wanted to say I'm sorry for what I wrote. I know my profile of Sky Ferreira upset a lot of people and I understand why. As a disciple of Bangs and Meltzer, I have cultivated an intentionally provocative prose style that thrives on enacting a certain disregard for the conventions and protocols of polite society, and I have made a fledgling career out of running toward that. To put it crassly, that is my "brand." But I realize this uproar isn't about polite vs. impolite or rock 'n' roll vs. squaresville. It's about a deeper question of human respect and aesthetic discernment.

When writing about female media figures from the perspective of the audience to whom they are marketed as objects, there's a temptation to assume those women are complicit in their own objectification, and a different, maybe stronger temptation to blame them for that complicity. In a way, writing from that perspective was my attempt to offer a critique of the whole process, within the ironic construction of being eagerly in its thrall. You've seen it before, I know; I'm not claiming to be an innovator. I was simply trying to express what I'd hoped would be a sophisticated version of sympathy for what is required of women in the contemporary entertainment landscape. That demanded a certain colloquial vulgarity, and the assumption of a greater familiarity with the subject than I had earned. The result, of course, was that I wound up compounding the problem rather than commenting on it, which is entirely on me.

It's not my habit to apologize based on reader response, but this isn't a usual circumstance. I'm deeply sorry to Ms. Ferreira, and to all the readers who responded to my piece with such disdain. I should never have used the expression "killer tits." Upon reflection, the terms "awesome breasts," "luscious bazooms," or "sweet Vinnie Boobarinos" may have been more appropriate.

I will strive to do better in the future.


Art Tavana