I watched “In Bed with Madonna” again last night, and it’s bad – no one during the entire film said a single negative thing to Madonna – I wonder how long people can be wholly submitted to before it starts to affect the star’s mental health? Not that they would be traumatised but rather that they disappear into a bubble of perfection where they can do no wrong – how does that affect the quality of their decision-making and behaviour? I didn’t like the moments in the film where Madonna embarrasses her family – revealing her brother has been in rehab. Or moments when she pressures her dancers to behave as outrageously as she does. It’s not how sexual Madonna is – she was one of the first women in the public eye to fully acknowledge having a full sexuality; the first one I remember having the audacity to stick her own hand on her own crotch!
The point in “In Bed with Madonna” which made me most uncomfortable concerns MUA Sharon Gault. Sharon was raped; one of the dancers tells Madonna that Sharon was dancing with some men, then remembers nothing until she wakes up nude, in her room at the Ritz Carlton with all her things stolen and “her butt was bleeding.” Madonna says, “They drugged her arse; she’s talking about how she was on tour with me, staying at the Ritz Carlton, and those guys, whoever they were, decided they were going to fuck with her.” That Madonna makes the rape of another woman about herself is horrible. Sharon gets no support from anyone – just victim-blaming. I know it was thirty years ago, but a rape was still a rape.
Some of Lizzo’s responses to the current accusations made me wince, “These last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticised. Usually, I choose not to respond to false allegations, but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed. These sensationalised stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behaviour on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.” If they are so unbelievable, why would you need to respond at all? I detect damage control. Surely if they are that outrageous, you’d say everyone else who has worked with me will tell you that I’m always respectful. If you’re as rich as Lizzo and doing a job you love, then relative to everyone else, you are privileged, and realising that means that you always behave respectfully all the time end of.
“As an artist, I have always been very passionate about what I do. I take my music and my performances seriously because, at the end of the day, I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans. With passion comes hard work and high standards” This sounds like justification or an excuse. “Sometimes I have to make hard decisions, but it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team.” Lizzo’s intention is completely irrelevant; it’s the impact on the target that counts.”
“I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days. I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself, but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not. There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticise or terminate an employee because of their weight. I’m hurt, but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time.”
Lizzos accusers say they don’t want to villainize her. “We’re just holding her accountable.” Neither are they trying to get her canceled; they want her to change. If these allegations are true, Lizzo should apologise ASAP – no one’s perfect; we are a work in progress. Mea Culpa – earns a lot of respect.