Harry Styles Says that Talking About Race Can Be 'Uncomfortable' But 'It’s a Time for Listening'

Tomás Mier
·2-min read

Parker Woods for Variety

Following a year filled with racial turmoil in the U.S., Harry Styles has reflected on — and spoken out — about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The "Golden" singer opened up to Variety in their latest cover story about the importance of Black people in the music industry and allowing Black folks to lead conversations surrounding race and police brutality.

“Talking about race can be really uncomfortable for everyone,” the 26-year-old told the magazine. “I had a realization that my own comfort in the conversation has nothing to do with the problem — like that’s not enough of a reason to not have a conversation."

Following the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police, Styles shared a post stating that "being not racist is not enough, we must be anti-racist." In the Variety interview, he echoed that sentiment.

Parker Woods for Variety Harry Styles

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"Looking back, I don’t think I’ve been outspoken enough in the past. Using that feeling has pushed me forward to being open and ready to learn," he said. "How can I ensure from my side that in 20 years, the right things are still being done and the right people are getting the right opportunities? That it’s not a passing thing?”

The One Direction alum also acknowledged the importance of Black culture in the industry.

“Historically, I can’t think of any industry that’s benefited more off of Black culture than music,” he said. “There are discussions that need to happen about this long history of not being paid fairly."

Parker Woods for Variety Harry Styles

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"It’s a time for listening, and hopefully, people will come out humbled, educated and willing to learn and change," he added.

During his cover story interview with Vogue last month, he also opened up about the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I've been trying to read and educate myself so that in 20 years I'm still doing the right things and taking the right steps," he told the magazine." "I believe in karma, and I think it's just a time right now where we could use a little more kindness and empathy and patience with people, be a little more prepared to listen and grow."

"I think it's a time for opening up and learning and listening," he also said.