Demi Lovato made thinly-veiled threats to LA-based frozen yoghurt shop The Bigg Chill via a series of private direct messages that surfaced Monday, while publicly attempting to issue a half-apology for her actions on Instagram.
The singer, 28 posted a rambling response to the controversy in an eight-and-half minute long video, where she tried to explain why she was ‘triggered’ by sugar-free items sold at the small business, and even claimed she would be ‘willing to work with them’ on how they could ‘do better.’
However, leaked direct messages allegedly written by the singer, published by TMZ, paint a different story, as Demi warned The Bigg Chill, ‘you don’t want to mess with me’ and advised them to stop trying to fight back against her arguments.
The singer wrote in the alleged messages: ‘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’
‘You don’t want to mess with me!’ Demi Lovato THREATENS fro-yo shop The Bigg Chill in exposed Instagram DMs before singer issues half-apology offering to ‘work’ with the small business
The direct messages were in response to the Heart Attack singer posting pictures of a gluten-free product from The Bigg Chill’s page as a way to prove that they promote diet culture, but the company replied saying the picture she had used was from 2016 and no longer stocked by them.
But Demi hit back in her DM messages by ranting: ‘If it’s still in your site GUESS WHAT – YOU’RE STILL SUPPORTING IT.’
The direct messages are in stark contrast to the half-apology video issued by Demi on Monday, where she said: ‘I will do whatever I can to work with this fro-yo shop, if they want to, to help align the messaging so I can feel safe in there and I can eat the fro-yo that I went in there for.’
DEMI’S LEAKED DMs
The Bigg Chill: ‘That post is from 2016. We do not even carry this companies products anymore and have not in years. We only started carrying them because our customers wanted a protein cookie.’
Demi Lovato: ‘So you don’t carry the Lenny and Larry cookies that scream the exact same thing.’
‘Pretty sure I saw every flavor there.’
‘Don’t keep going w this. You don’t want to mess w me. You’re in the wrong and the customer is always right.’
‘You already know this listen to your customer and do better.’
‘If it’s still in your site GUESS WHAT – YOU’RE STILL SUPPORTING IT.’
‘People with eating disorders should feel safe wherever they want to go and eat,’ she added, who had claimed she she felt ‘triggered’ by the sugar-free options.
In her lengthy video, Demi also said she hoped she had now opened up a dialogue with The Bigg Chill, and said she was taking it upon herself to change America and the world to help those with eating disorders.
Towards the end of the video, Demi is heard saying that if making the world a better place upsets some people then she is ‘sorry’ saying: ‘I will listen and try to understand and how I can better be a support to all communities.’
Though it appears that she was addressing communities that suffer from eating disorders, rather than giving a direct apology to The Bigg Chill.
‘My intentions were not to come in and bully a small business, that was not it. I walked in, and got so triggered I left without fro-yo, and it made me really sad. That’s all it was and I wanted to talk about that,’ she added.
She ended her message by letting out a big sigh, saying: ‘Being a celebrity is exhausting sometimes!’ and saying she would be taking the ‘day off’ for a ‘mental health day.’
Earlier in the day, Demi stood firm by her actions in two other social media posts that continued her attack on the small business.
‘This screams diet culture and I won’t be gaslit by the media or anyone else that says otherwise,’ Demi caption an Instagram post, that showed some gluten-free products sold by the establishment.
‘This screams diet culture!’ Demi also doubled down on her criticism of the The Bigg Chill, an LA based frozen yogurt shop that she called out for their excess of diet-geared food
The products seen in Demi’s post – which she had taken from The Bigg Chill’s official Instagram account – had been marketed as ‘guilt free’ cookies and cakes, with 22 grams of protein, and being low-carb and gluten free.
Trying to explain her issue further, Demi wrote: ‘I don’t need to feel guilt free about eating anything. This was what I was talking about and this is directly from their own page @thebiggchillofficial.’
The Sorry Not Sorry pop star then wrote on another post, ‘It’s time the media stops gaslighting women who stand up for themselves.’
Demi is responding to her own controversy, which has seen her be subject to mass scrutiny on Twitter for the ‘stupid’ attack, leaving many fans confused, as well as people upset with the idea of a big star attacking a small business in lockdown.
Not backing down: The 28-year-old singer stood firm by her actions on Monday in new social media posts shared to her Instagram Stories
In her original post, she penned: ‘Finding it extremely hard to order froyo from [The Bigg Chill] when you have to walk past tons of sugar-free cookies/other diet foods before you get to the counter’, before adding the hashtag ‘Do Better’.
The store, situated on Olympic Blvd, is owned by Diane Dinow and her daughter Cary Russell, who revealed in 2011 that they average 1,000 customers a day in the week and up to 1,300 at the weekends.
Demi accused the the shop of ‘harmful messaging from brands or companies that perpetuate a society that not only enables but praises disordered eating.’
The establishment responded to the Sorry Not Sorry songstress in a direct message, which she subsequently posted online.
The company responded saying: ‘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.’
Lovato responded: ‘Not just that. Your service was terrible. So rude. The whole experience was triggering and awful.’
Owner: The store, situated on Olympic Blvd, is owned by Diane Dinow (pictured)
The A-list singer took to social media detailing her unpleasant experience at the shop
Co-owned: The eatery is co-owned by Diane’s daughter Cary Russell, who revealed in 2011 that they average 1,000 customers a day in the week and up to 1,300 at the weekends
She advised the business: ‘You can carry things for other people while also carrying for another percentage of your customers who struggle DAILY just to even step foot in your store…
‘You can find a way to provide an environment for all people with different needs. Including eating disorders – one of the deadliest mental illness only second to [opioid] overdoses. Don’t make excuses, just do better.’
The What Other People Say artist then advised the business on different ways it could improve on the issue.
She penned: ‘I was thinking, maybe it would help if you made it more clear that the sugar free options and vegan options are for that. Labeling the snacks for celiac or diabetes or vegans.
Bigg Chill! The store (pictured) is situated on Olympic Blvd
The company responded to Lovato: ‘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’
LA based: The establishment is located at the intersection of Olympic and Westwood boulevards in the City of Angels
‘When it’s not super clear, the messaging gets confusing and being in LA it’s really hard to distinguish diet culture vs health needs. I think clear messaging would be more beneficial for everyone. You aren’t wrong for catering to many different needs but it’s not about excluding one demographic to cater to others.’
Fans soon responded in anger, writing: ‘What’s your favorite internet beef rn mine is Demi lovato forgetting diabetics exist and fighting a frozen yogurt business in public…
‘CALL OUT: Demi Lovato calls out Yogurt shop for sugar free foods. Demi says “Finding it extremely hard to order froyo from The Big Chill when you have to walk past tons of sugar free cookies/other diet foods.”…
‘Shop says they carry food for diabetics, celiac disease and vegan… Demi Lovato brainstorming how she can victimize herself with a frozen yogurt company…
Shocking: Fans soon responded in anger, writing: ‘What’s your favorite internet beef rn mine is Demi lovato forgetting diabetics exist and fighting a frozen yogurt business in public’
DEMI’S PREVIOUS CONTROVERSIES AND SHOCKS
2018: Demi came under fire for revealing she played a prank on her bodyguard which many said was akin to sexual assault. Despite initially standing by the statement, she later said: ‘Sorry if anyone was offended’
2019: Demi was forced to apologise after accepting a free trip to Israel that sparked controversy due to the Israel/Palestine conflict. She said in a statement: ‘This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT’
2020: Fans slammed Demi for mentioning Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was shot and killed by police, in a statement defending her then-fiancé Max Ehrich, about reported historic screenshots showing him professing his love for Selena Gomez. She branded the posts “fake” and challenged “any tabloid that dares type my name to mention Breonna Taylor and that fact that her murderers still haven’t been arrested” on her Instagram. Fans accused her of using the late woman as a ‘scapegoat’ to ‘deflect’ from her drama
2021: Demi shocked fans when she discussed her ‘fluid’ sexuality. She said: ‘I’m very fluid. I think love is love. You can find it in any gender. I like the freedom of being able to flirt with whoever I want’
2021: The star detailed how she felt ‘liberated’ when she cut her hair short because of how it helped her shed ‘gender and sexuality norms’ she was raised with as a ‘Christian in the South’
‘Demi Lovato would like to speak to your manager @TheBiggChill How dare y’all sell healthy and delicious frozen yogurt for everyone… Sugar free options aren’t for diet culture some people genuinely need those options ??…
‘POC are finding it very hard to walk down the street without being killed and Demi Lovato is out here bitching about frozen yogurt options for diabetics. Do better please…
‘I have so many thoughts about Demi Lovato dragging a yogurt shop for having sugar free foods, but I’m going to keep quiet since the last time I criticized Demi the tweet blew up and all her fans came at me and called me fat and ugly….
‘Demi Lovato just put a yogurt shop on blast to her 102M followers and wants to make this a hashtag series… Demi Lovato is using her celebrity to attack a frozen yogurt store and I’m not sure why… Demi lovato is terrible…
‘She complains about a yogurt shop having sugar free cookies. She should be the definition of pathetic… I’m sorry it’s a frozen yogurt shop…
‘Did you expect the shelves to be stocked with carrots and kale? This is truly a stupid take. Shaming the best frozen yogurt spot in LA.’
Even Real Housewives of New York star Leah McSweeney jumped in, posting her thoughts on Instagram Stories following the snafu.
‘Demi Lovato should be ashamed of herself for using her platform of 102 million people following her on Instagram,’ Leah began.
‘To drag a frozen yoghurt spot, because she’s mad that they sell diet frozen yoghurt, and sugar-free options because that triggers her. Therefore they should just be harrassed and go out of business… what the f***k!’
‘I mean, I’m sorry that she had to deal with an eating disorder that’s terrible, but does that mean we have to stop offering people sugar-free options for things?’
‘What about people diabetes? What about people that don’t want to eat regular ice cream, and just want some sugar-free frozen yoghurt?’
Leah finished: ‘That is just the ultimate privilege, to use your fucking platform with millions and millions of people, to drag a f****ing business, who only have 6,000 followers on Instagram, who have been doing their thing since like the ’80s.’
The OK Not to Be OK performer has past been open about her struggles with eating disorders, including going into treatment to deal with bulimia when she was 18.
The establishment responded to the Sorry Not Sorry songstress in a direct message, which she subsequently posted online
Not a fan: RHONY star Leah McSweeney called out Demi for her antics while also promoting The Bigg Chill on her Instagram Stories
Lovato’s friend, comic Jameela Jamil, defended her against online critics in speaking in support of Lovato amid the controversy.
‘If an eating disorder advocate says she sees products that are positioned as guilt free, and it is potentially triggering, that doesn’t mean she’s too stupid to remember that diabetics exist,’ Jamil, 35, wrote in an Instagram post. ‘It just means that we need to change the marketing of products for people’s medical needs.’
Jamil slammed those who took Lovato to task for her complaints about the frozen yogurt shop.
‘It’s just mockery and cruelty, and maligning of a woman’s character who is navigating unchartered territory of being super famous, super young, super outspoken, super honest and vulnerable and super fragile and strong at the same time,’ she said.
Lovato acknowledged her friend’s support, writing, ‘Thank you queen. Literally so grateful that you get me and that I can call you a close friend. I love you.’
Joining in: Demi thanked her friend comic Jameela Jamil after she spoke in support of Lovato amid the controversy
Jamil also said people targeting Lovato in the online controversy did so from a place of ‘mockery and cruelty’
Last month, she told CBS Sunday Morning that ongoing eating disorder-linked behavior played a role ahead of her overdose in 2018.
‘I didn’t control any of my life at that period of time,’ she said, adding that ‘every time I was in a hotel room my phone was taken out of the room so I couldn’t order room service.’
She elaborated on the topic in February with Ashley Graham on her podcast Pretty Big Deal, saying, ‘I’m tired of running myself into the ground with workouts and extreme dieting.
‘I thought the past few years was recovery from an eating disorder when it actually was just completely falling into it. And I just realized that maybe my symptoms weren’t as obvious as before, but it was definitely an eating issue.’
Buzzy: A neon sign is installed into the wall at the facility, which has been in operation 36 years
Sign of the times: The local frozen yogurt establishment sticks to COVID-19 protocols with markers on the floor and plexiglass separating employees and customers at the front
Center of controversy: Lovato was unhappy with the array of diet options the shop sells adding that she felt ‘triggered’ by a number of sugar-free options