Celebrity

“It’s Fatphobic, It’s Racist, And It’s Hurtful.”: Lizzo Hits Back After ‘Rumors’ Criticism

"What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to Black women over and over and over again - especially us big Black girls."

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Lizzo has hit back at critics for being racist and fatphobic following the release of her latest single ‘Rumors’.

On Friday, Lizzo released her Cardi B-featuring track, her first major release since the success of Cuz I Love You. The music video is an homage to Hercules and the American singer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

But in a now-deleted Tweet, Twitter user @TheFineFeminine accused the singer of being “a mammy for the white gaze. Only reason her act is marketed and executed like that.”

It set off a debate about the criticism of Lizzo, and the mammy trope — a racial caricature of a Black woman who cares for the children of white families, a simplified (and wildly offensive) stereotype from the era of slavery.

Lizzo spotted the noised and responded via TikTok duet with a fan. “This is exactly why I started off the song with, ‘They don’t know I do it for the culture.’ These people who are saying this are probably the same people who are mad when I am being hypersexual. And the mammy trope is actually desexualized. So it can’t both be true. Make it make sense,” Lizzo said.

“I really think people are just mad to see a fat Black woman that makes pop music and is happy. Y’all are so upset that I am happy. But this rhetoric doesn’t even bother me because Aretha Franklin was criticised by the Black church when she came out, with ‘Respect’, Whitney Houston was booed at the Soul Train Awards for being too white. Beyoncé received criticism early in her career.

“The only person that I’m serving is myself.”

On a recent Instagram Live, Lizzo teared up about the pressure and the criticism.

“People who have something mean to say about you; and for the most part it doesn’t hurt my feelings, I don’t care. I just think when I’m working this hard my tolerance gets lower,” she told fans.

“It’s fatphobic, and it’s racist, and it’s hurtful. If you don’t like my music, cool. If you don’t like ‘Rumors’ the song, cool. But a lot of people don’t like me because of the way I look…What I won’t accept is y’all doing this to Black women over and over and over again — especially us big Black girls.”

Collaborator Cardi B waded in to defend Lizzo. “When you stand up for yourself they claim your [sic] problematic and sensitive,” she wrote on Twitter. “When you don’t they tear you apart until you crying like this. Whether you skinny, big, plastic, they going to always try to put their insecurities on you. Remember these are nerds looking at the popular table.”