Janelle Monáe’s steamy new video has fans all hot and bothered. But that’s nothing compared to the hot water in which one background actor who appears in the clip has found himself since its release last week.
Monáe released their latest single “Lipstick Lover” last Thursday, along with the accompanying NSFW video. British music mag NME describes the song, the first off Monáe’s upcoming fourth album The Age of Pleasure, as “a reggae-inspired celebration of queer love and joy.”
“As we enter into The Age Of Pleasure, ‘Lipstick Lover’ is our freeassmothaf**ka anthem inspired by f.a.m. for f.a.m,” the singer said in a statement. “This is our oasis made with love, rooted in self-acceptance, throbbing in self-discovery, and signed with cherry red kisses from me to you.”
The video for the song finds the singer frolicking amongst scantily clad friends at a very queer pool party. In one shot, Monáe is brushing her teeth wearing an orange Pikachu-esque hoodie. She leans down to spit, revealing two men making out in the shower behind her.
That brief moment outed one of the men to his family.
On Monday, Emmanuel, a 24-year-old L.A.-based certified personal trainer who also works in HR in the tech industry, tweeted about the unexpected development.
“My parents (who I’m not even out to yet) just saw my lil cameo in Janelle Monae’s video where I’m kissing a boy,” he wrote. “Y’all…pray for me. It’s about to be a long road ahead.”
Emmanuel said that his parents were tipped off to his appearance in the video by an anonymous source.
“Parents said a lot. Called me selfish for the most part,” he told Queerty in a message. “I haven’t talked to them about it fully. I’m still panicking.”
Still, he doesn’t seem to regret his participation in the video shoot, saying, “Being involved in that video was everything. Working with Janelle was EVERYTHING. I felt so free on set. The vibes were amazing.”
He’s gotten tons of supportive messages on Twitter, including one from Monáe herself. “I love you. I’m here for you. Always,” the singer replied to Emmanuel’s tweet on Monday.
“My parents are NOT having it lmao but I’m kinda gagging at all the love and support I’ve been getting,” Emmanuel tweeted on Tuesday. “Appreciate yall so much.”