Lizzo isn’t actually quitting music, obviously

In this week’s biggest “Yeah, Duh” news, Lizzo isn’t actually quitting music. This is only news because she posted a message on social media with the all-caps sentence “I QUIT,” but did anyone actually believe she was going to give up releasing body-positive bangers perfectly suited for performing at Democratic fundraisers? Did anyone think she would even go so far as to quit social media, when she has a shapewear brand to promote? The truth is, Lizzo never actually said what she was quitting, but it was pretty obvious it wasn’t going to be any of her very successful and lucrative endeavors.

Here’s what she actually meant, according to a clarifying video she posted to social media on Tuesday: “When I say I quit, I mean, I quit giving any negative energy attention. What I’m not going to quit is the joy of my life, which is making music, which is connecting to people,” she said. “Because I know I’m not alone. In no way shape or form am I the only person who is experiencing that negative voice that seems to be louder than the positive. If I can give just one person the inspiration or motivation to stand up for themselves, and say they quit letting negative people win, negative comments win, then I’ve done even more than I could’ve hoped for.”

The singer concluded her PSA by reassuring fans she’s “going to keep moving forward” and “keep being me,” and expressing gratitude for all the love. The only really surprising part is that the “I QUIT” message wasn’t some sort of marketing ploy to promote a new single or something. In fairness to her original message, Lizzo has no doubt been the subject of a lot of negativity and cruelty. Surely, it does take a mental toll “being the butt of the joke every single time because of how I look,” as she put it. It’s a very human impulse to want to respond and push back against bullying.

However… a lot of the negativity comes from the fact that Lizzo herself has been accused of bullying, and worse. She’s currently facing a lawsuit from former dancers over alleged abuse, harassment, discrimination, and other workplace violations. (Lizzo’s camp has denied the accusations.) In the wake of Lizzo’s “I QUIT” message, Ron Zambrano, the attorney representing the dancers, gave a statement to The A.V. Club saying, “It’s a joke that Lizzo would say she is being bullied by the internet when she should instead be taking an honest look at herself. Her latest post is just another outburst seeking attention and trying to deflect from her own failings as she continues to blame everyone else for the predicament she is in.”

Citing other examples of “celebrity toxicity,” Zambrano called for a “reckoning” in the entertainment industry “for permitting such vile treatment of employees in the workplace.” He stated, “Lizzo’s legal and public relations strategy is a failure, so she is desperately trying to play the victim. She has thrown these childish tantrums before. No one actually believes she is quitting music. But she should quit sexually harassing, shaming and bullying her employees and finally accept responsibility for her actions. She can make all of this go away simply by seizing the opportunity here to set an example, own up to her mistakes, pay what’s due to those she’s wronged and work on becoming a better person.”

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