During MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday (28 August), the 28-year-old Puerto Rican rapper – who won the Album of the Year Award – kissed one of his male dancers while performing his hit song “Tití Me Preguntó”.
Despite the moment receiving a fair amount of praise, some Twitter fans weren’t happy with the display of affection, accusing Bad Bunny of queerbaiting.
“Queerbaiting. Just to be ‘different,’” one wrote, with another adding: “Then went back to his girlfriend. Like please leave us alone.”
While Bad Bunny – real name Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio – has maintained an image as a gender-bending artist, he has been in a relationship with jewellery designer Gabriela Berlingeri for the past five years.
However, others were quick to argue back, with one calling the moment “monumental”, before adding in context, explaining that it happened shortly after two female artists, Villano Antillano and Tokischa, “were publicly criticised (to the point of death threats) for kissing at a show in San Juan”.
A second wrote: “Bad Bunny kissing a male backup dancer was probably in response to how earlier this week, Puerto Rican media and some in the reggaeton space were outraged by a kiss between Villano Antillano and Tokischa. Calling him a queerbaiter is not the serve y’all think.”
“First, even if it’s ‘queerbaiting,’ Bad Bunny is a solid and vocal queer ally. So he has my blessing,” another shared. “Second, dude could be bi or pan. Doesn’t really owe us any explanation.”
In a 2020 Los Angeles Times interview, Bad Bunny said: “It [sexuality] does not define me. At the end of the day, I don’t know if in 20 years I will like a man. One never knows in life. At the moment I am heterosexual and I like women.”
Read here for MTV VMAs 2022’s six biggest talking points of the night, and check out the full list of winners here.