Demi Lovato Apologizes for Attacking Frozen Yogurt Shop Over Sugar-Free Diet Options
Demi Lovato faced major backlash after accusing a small business of promoting diet culture.
On Sunday (April 18), the “Dancing With the Devil” singer shared details about a negative experience she had at Los Angeles-based frozen yogurt shop The Bigg Chill, saying that the sugar-free cookies and “diet” options she saw before going up to the counter were “triggering and awful.”
“Finding it extremely hard to order froyo from @thebiggchillofficial when you have to walk past tons of sugar free cookies/other diet foods before you get to the counter,” Lovato wrote to her 102 million followers on Instagram. “Do better please.”
“We are not diet vultures. We cater to all of our customers’ needs for the past 36 years. We are sorry you found this offensive,” the company wrote back to her.
The Bigg Chill told HuffPost in a statement that they were “really hurt by Demi’s comments.”
“For the past 36 years, our small woman-owned business has catered to anyone who’s come through the door. Whether they are diabetic, vegan, gluten-free, or just wanting a decadent dessert ... we’ve always tried to have something for everyone,” the company said.
Lovato then shared on social media, "You can carry things for other people while also caring for another percentage of your customers who struggle DAILY just to even step foot in your store," Lovato replied. "You can find a way to provide an inviting environment for all people with different needs. Including eating disorders. Don't make excuses, just do better."
After facing backlash, the former Disney Channel star backpedaled on her crusade. On Monday (April 20), she released a video apologizing for her outspoken comments about the shop's signage and explaining how the froyo shop can be triggering to those recovering from, or currently struggling, with eating disorders.
“It wasn’t clear to me that it was for specific health needs,” she explained. “Because it wasn’t clear I definitely jumped to conclusions and probably shouldn’t have gone about this the way that I have. But I’m willing to talk to this froyo shop to help get the messaging right.”
“I’m human and I talk about my struggles. And I’m passionate. So I’m sorry that I got the messaging wrong. I’m sorry that I may have disappointed some people," she continued. "But I am not coming after a small business as someone with a lot of followers. That’s not what I am doing here. I walked into a situation that didn’t sit right with me. My intuition said speak up about this and I did."
The singer said she is open to working with the shop to work on their messaging so other people with eating disorders can feel safe ordering at their establishment.
“I’m so sorry if it got misconstrued. I don’t always get this right. I speak my mind. I’m opinionated and sometimes I get labeled as problematic,“ she added. “Everything I’m doing is well-intentioned.”