Singer Demi Lovato posted an apology to Instagram on Monday after beefing with a frozen yogurt shop in Los Angeles over its options for people with dietary restrictions.
Over the weekend, Lovato, 28, slammed the shop, The Bigg Chill, on her Instagram account, where she has 102 million followers, saying items such as “sugar-free cookies” and other diet foods were “triggering.”
The Big Chill responded on its own Instagram account, pointing to sugar-free and gluten-free products it offered for those with dietary restrictions. And on Monday, Lovato admitted that she “jumped to conclusions” and that she shouldn’t have called out the store the way she did, adding that she wished the labeling of different dietary options had been more specific.
“It wasn’t clear to me that it was for specific health needs, and so I didn’t know that. I just took it as, ‘OK, I’m going into a froyo shop. I’m seeing sugar-free, I’m seeing this and that. If there is a sign that ‘celiac,’ ‘vegan,’ I would’ve understood. That would’ve been clear messaging to me,” Lovato said in a video posted to her Instagram.
In her initial Instagram story, she posted she wanted the shop to “Do better please.”
“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,” she wrote.
That attracted the response from the Bigg Chill, which had 6,000 followers on Instagram before Lovato posted about it, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We carry items for Diabetics, Celiac Disease, Vegan and of course have many indulgent items as well,” the store wrote on its Instagram story following Lovato’s initial post.
Lovato has been open about her struggles with eating disorders and addiction, and, in a subsequent post, said she planned to call out any business that “not only enables but praises disordered eating.”
She then posted screenshots of direct messages back and forth with the frozen yogurt shop, saying that her entire experience there 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,” she wrote, adding that the should be conscious of people with eating disorders.
She suggested in another direct message posted to her Instagram story that The Bigg Chill label the options as being for people with specific needs.
In another Instagram story, Lovato shared an old Instagram post, which showed The Bigg Chill had labeled some items “guilt free,” according to the L.A. Times.
The back and forth so went viral, with many on social media siding with The Bigg Chill. On TikTok, at least one user accusing Lovato of being ableist.
“Hi Demi. I have an autoimmune disease. I cannot have gluten, I cannot have dairy, I cannot have red meat, MSG, and a lot of the time refined sugar f—- me up, too. I have cried before because I’ve gone to a restaurant with my friends, and there’s been not one thing I can eat. Do you know how demeaning and demoralizing that is?” TikTok user BigYikezAmIRite said in a video.
She added, “When I see a gluten-free and dairy-free menu, I get very excited and I feel included.”
In a statement to HuffPost, The Bigg Chill said it has always tried to have options for all customers.
“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 statement read.
NBC News was not immediately able to contact the management of The Bigg Chill. Lovato did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In her Instagram post Monday in which she apologized for jumping to conclusions about the dietary offerings, Lovato added she’d be willing to work with The Bigg Chill to change the shop’s messaging.
“I left that yogurt store and didn’t get the yogurt that I wanted and then I had a hard time for the rest of the weekend … 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 but I’m not coming after a small business as someone with a lot of followers. That’s not what I’m doing here,” Lovato said.