- The Washington Times - Monday, April 19, 2021

Pop singer Demi Lovato picked a public fight with a Los Angeles business over the weekend after she accused the woman-owned frozen yogurt shop of serving low-fat products that could be “triggering” to people with eating disorders.

In an Instagram story post, the “Dancing with the Devil” singer called out The Bigg Chill Frozen Yogurt shop in West L.A., writing: “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. Do better please. #DietCultureVultures.” 

The yogurt shop responded by rejecting the name “diet vultures.”

“We are not diet vultures,” a spokesperson for The Bigg Chill told Ms. Lovato, according to a screenshot she later posted. “We cater to all of our customers’ needs for the past 36 years. We are sorry you found this offensive.” 

Ms. Lovato, has been outspoken about her struggles with eating disorders, accused the yogurt shop of making “excuses” and lectured the owners on how to make their business more inclusive.

“Not just that. Your service was terrible,” she wrote. “So rude. The whole experience was triggering and awful. 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. You can find a way to provide an inviting environment for all people with different needs. Including eating disorders — one of the deadliest mental illnesses only second to [opioid] overdoses. Don’t make excuses, just do better.” 

The Bigg Chill on Monday told HuffPost in a statement it was “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.

Ms. Lovato‘s comments drew backlash from critics who accused her of using her massive social media influence to hurt a small business in the pandemic-ravaged restaurant industry.

“Real Housewives of New York City” star Leah McSweeney said Ms. Lovato “should be ashamed of herself.”

“The ultimate privilege is to just use your platform with millions and millions of people to drag a [expletive] business with 6,000 followers on Instagram who have been doing their thing since the ‘80s,” Ms. McSweeney said in a series of videos on her Instagram story, the New York Post reported. “This story just [expletive] irks me. It’s absolutely disgusting.”

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