Beach Bunny frontwoman Lili Trifilio apologized on Sunday (May 31) after a track she wrote to honor the memory of George Floyd stirred up controversy on social media.
The lilting tribute, titled “George Floyd,” finds the indie rocker ruminating on the current state of the world as protests rock cities across the country following Floyd’s death. “While the privileged mutter/ On headline covers/ The crowd asks the police/ ‘How can you expect us/ To think you protect us?/ You murdered him in front of me’/ In the land of glory/ The top page story/ Resembles 1963 / And the man in power/ Says wait for your hour/ But I still believe in that dream,” she sings on the track over spare, fuzzed out electric guitar.
In the YouTube description for the tune, she explained: “This song is about justice, this song is about the state of our current world, this song is about the fundamentally broken system of the United States, this song is about race, this song is about murder.” Trifilio also added, “We must be a United People in the fight against oppression, tyranny, exploitation, abuse, brutality, needless cruelty, and a be a cry for the greater good, equality, liberty, for ALL people ALWAYS.”
However, it appears some commenters may not have been too keen on Trifilio using the tragedy for lyrical inspiration, despite her donating all proceeds from the song directly to the late Minneapolis man’s memorial fund. The Instagram post in which she had originally shared the song — and the comments critical of it — has since been removed.
“I am deeply sorry for anyone I upset in writing a solidarity track for George Floyd,” Beach Bunny tweeted after removing the song from Instagram. “It was not appropriate and I hear you. You raised $1,310.16 with your donations which will go directly to the Floyd Family.”
Over the weekend, Trifilio also used the Beach Bunny Twitter account to bring attention to the protests happening in the band’s native Chicago, urging fans to “protest if you can” and sharing links to the Chicago Community Bond Fund after police arrested more than 1,000 protesters.
Read Beach Bunny’s apology below.