Demi Lovato issues tepid apology after ‘privileged’ rant against frozen yoghurt store
Demi Lovato apologised Monday evening (19 April) for blasting a beloved frozen yoghurt shop over its options for people with dietary restrictions.
In an eight-minute-long Instagram video, the singer restated her comments about Los Angeles-based eatery Bigg Chill Yogurt Shop amid backlash from some fans who felt she was picking on a small business.
Some fans had accused Lovato of being “privileged” for lambasting Bigg Chill amid a global pandemic.
The Olympic Boulevard store offers products to suit varying dietary restrictions and needs. But the way they were advertised, Lovato said, drew up long-festering feelings about her struggles living with an eating disorder.
She explained how she was “triggered” by the store’s sugar-free, dairy-free and low-fat options last weekend. Her opinions towards the lines, she said, have since been “misconstructed” and came “from a place of love”.
“When I messaged this froyo place, originally I wanted to make a point, and I wanted to call out behaviours or branding things that didn’t sit right with me,” Lovato explained.
“As someone who deals with an eating disorder and is in recovery from an eating disorder, I still to this day have a hard time walking into a froyo shop, ordering yoghurt and being content with it and keeping it down.”
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The former Disney Channel star admitted that she hastily drew the wrong conclusion about Bigg Chill and “probably shouldn’t have gone about” confronting the store in the way she did.
Overall, she declined to chill out.
“It wasn’t clear,” she said of the store’s display, before adding that said she hopes to work with it – and all froyo shops – to create signage more sensitive of those with eating disorders.
As someone who has candidly discussed living with an eating disorder in the past, Lovato reflected how “safe” froyo feels to her.
“I know that people struggle with froyo with eating disorders,” she said.
“That’s why I’m super sensitive when I walk into a froyo place and I see diet stuff.
“I’m genuinely sorry that people took it the wrong way,” she added. “I just get really passionate.
“It’s never coming out of a place of hate, it’s always coming out of a place of love and trying to lift people up.
“I understand that didn’t lift the froyo place up, but I’m upset and that’s all that that was.”
Why did Demi Lovato feud with a froyo shop?
Demi Lovato, like so many hot and bothered Angelenos have done for decades, swung by Bigg Chill Yogurt Shop, a small, retro-looking froyo shop by a heaving freeway, for a spoonful of yoghurt.
Walking inside on Sunday (18 April), the “Dancing With the Devil” hitmaker was shocked to see the woman-owned shop was stocking what she described as products that provoked her eating disorder.
In an Instagram story, Lovato berated the business for being “diet culture vultures”.
“Finding it extremely hard to order froyo from @thebiggchilloffical when you have to walk past tons of sugar-free cookies/other diet foods before you get to the counter,” she explained, according to People magazine.
“Do better please.”
Bigg Chill Yogurt Shop immediately direct messaged the musician, clarifying that the menu options are part of its menu that offers options for those living with diabetes, celiac disease, or are vegan.
“We are not diet vultures,” they told the artist. “We cater to all of our customer’s needs for the past 36 years. We are sorry you found this offensive.”
While both Lovato and Bigg Chill made snippets of the exchange public via screen captures, TMZ obtained a copy of the entire conversion which reportedly showed her making thinly-veiled threats towards the shop.
As she sought to stop them fighting back, she allegedly wrote: “Don’t keep going with this.
“You don’t want to mess with me. You’re in the wrong and the customer is always right.
“You already know this, listen to your customer and do better.”
The message was in response to a post about a gluten-free product that Lovato said: “Screams diet culture”. Bigg Chill stressed that the post was from 2016 about a product they haven’t stocked “in years”.
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“I walked into a situation that didn’t sit right with me, my intuition said speak up about this, so I did,” Lovovato reflected in the video apology.
“And I feel good about that. What I don’t feel good about is some of the way it’s been interpreted and how the message has gotten misconstrued.”
She added: “People with eating disorders should be able to go in and feel safe wherever they go to eat. That’s all I’m asking,
“If we can make this environment safer for everyone, including people that are in recovery from an eating disorder and just want a little froyo, if we can do that while also giving froyo to vegans and people with diabetes, let’s go.”
PinkNews contacted representatives for Demi Lovato for comment.
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