The social media war of words between Demi Lovato and LA frozen yogurt shop The Bigg Chill took another turn on Wednesday.
The small business posted on Instagram Story that messages circulating online stating the singer had donated $100,000 and sent a written apology had been fabricated.
‘To those of you asking: We have not received any donations from Demi’s team. Nor do we want one,’ The Bigg Chill wrote while reposting what it described as ‘Photoshopped images’.
Another twist: LA frozen yogurt shop The Bigg Chill posted on Instagram Story Wednesday that messages circulating online stating Demi Lovato had donated $100,000 and sent a written apology amid social media feud had been fabricated and were not true
The West LA-based business stressed it had not made any changes to its frozen yogurt menu after Lovato said she had been ‘triggered’ by the store’s sugar-free and diet options.
‘We have not heard anything from Demi since her ‘sorry, not sorry’ apology on Monday. We have not heard from her team,’ the fro-yo business reiterated.
The ‘Photoshopped images’ included on the Instagram Story purported to show The Bigg Chill confirming that they had received a donation and ‘would love to do a partnership’ with Lovato in the future.
There was also a tweet from the subsequently deleted account @ICUbutterfiy which read: ‘She really is such a pure soul who just wants to make the world a little bit better and has no ill intentions towards anyone.’
What’s going on? ‘We have not heard anything from Demi since her ‘sorry, not sorry’ apology on Monday. We have not heard from her team,’ the fro-yo business reiterated
Business as usual: The West LA-based business also stressed it had not made any changes to its frozen yogurt menu after Lovato said she had been ‘triggered’ by the store’s sugar-free and diet options
Speaking to the LA Times Wednesday, The Bigg Chill co-owner Cary Russell said she was ‘hurt’ and ‘shocked’ by Lovato’s remarks.
‘I couldn’t believe that she would attack us like that,’ Russell told the newspaper.
‘All she had to do is pick up the phone and call me. I would have had a conversation with her and probably handled it and felt differently about it. But I felt like she just came at us and wanted to fight and accused us of things that weren’t right.’
Russell added that the small business was grateful for the support it has been receiving from the wider community after the feud made headlines.
Bemused: Speaking to the LA Times Wednesday, The Bigg Chill co-owner Cary Russell said she was ‘hurt’ and ‘shocked’ by Lovato’s remarks. ‘I couldn’t believe that she would attack us like that,’ Russell told the newspaper
Feud: ‘All she had to do is pick up the phone and call me,’ Russell said of Lovato. ‘I would have had a conversation with her and probably handled it and felt differently about it. But I felt like she just came at us and wanted to fight and accused us of things that weren’t right’
Trolling? The Bigg Chill posted this menu to their Instagram page on Tuesday after the Dancing With The Devil star posted a long video Monday explaining why she felt the small business was enabling ‘disordered eating’
On Monday, it was revealed that Lovato had made thinly-veiled threats to The Bigg Chill via a series of private direct messages while publicly attempting to issue a half-apology for her actions on Instagram.
The singer, 28 posted a response to the controversy in an eight-and-half minute video, where she explained why she was ‘triggered’ by sugar-free items sold at the small business, and claimed she would ‘work with them’ on ‘doing better.’
However, leaked direct messages allegedly written by the singer, published by TMZ, paint a different story, as she warned The Bigg Chill, ‘you don’t want to mess with me’ and advised them to stop trying to fight back against her arguments.
Lovato allegedly wrote in the 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’.
The messages were in response to the singer posting pictures of a gluten-free product from The Bigg Chill’s page as a way to prove that they promote diet culture.
Following her outburst, the company replied saying the picture she had used was from 2016 and was no longer stocked.
But Demi hit back in her DM messages by ranting: ‘If it’s still in your site GUESS WHAT – YOU’RE STILL SUPPORTING IT.’
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’ [sic]
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.’
The direct messages are in stark contrast to the half-apology video issued on Monday, in which she rambled for nearly 10 minutes at the camera.
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.’
‘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.
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
‘This screams diet culture!’ Demi also doubled down on her criticism of the The Bigg Chill and declared: ‘It’s time the media stops gaslighting women who stand up for themselves’
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.
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’.
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.’
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.’
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.’
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’