Following an onslaught of racist abuse, Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei has announced that she’s taking a break from Twitter.
Kordei published a note on Saturday (August 6) explaining her temporary hiatus. “Over the course of this last week and especially over the last 48 hours I’ve not just been cyber bullied, I’ve been racially cyber bullied with tweets and pictures so horrific and racially charged that I can’t subject myself any longer to the hate,” she wrote.
“I’m not the first black female celebrity to deal with this and I’m sure I won’t be the last,” Kordei added. “Hiding behind a computer and putting people down, especially for the color of their skin doesn’t make you cool, it makes you a coward!"
Kordei became the object of online attacks after a Facebook Live Q&A led some fans to believe there was tension within Fifth Harmony — specifically between Kordei and her bandmate Camila Cabello. When asked to describe each of her bandmates, Kordei had less to say about Camila than the rest of 5H, calling her “quirky” and “cute."
Certain Harmonizers took Kordei’s lack of praise as an affront. She received so much criticism that she later addressed the controversy on Twitter. “I have love and respect for all four of my bandmates whether you choose to believe it or not,” she wrote.
Her response only intensified the abuse. Two days after posting the initial note, Kordei has had to log off to escape the trolls, even though Cabello herself — as well as the rest of Fifth Harmony — has rushed to her bandmate’s defense.
Zendaya also posted notes of support for Kordei, who is the only black member of Fifth Harmony. "The sad part is that it's so common, that type of racially charged hate as black woman in this industry,” she wrote. "You deserve so much more sis."
Kordei’s Twitter break comes a few weeks after Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones was forced to step away from Twitter due to a barrage of racist abuse, though she’s now returned after Twitter’s support team stepped in to weed out trolls. Kordei also credits Twitter’s staff with helping her out — and notes that she’s only taking a break “for now."