Minneapolis-born rapper Lizzo née Melissa Jefferson has come under fire from some of her fans for a new Weight Watchers ad that includes her song, “Worship.” The campaign is part of the company’s efforts to rebrand itself as WW (Wellness Works) and includes Oprah Winfrey, who is a prominent stockholder and board member and is frequently featured in marketing materials. As part of the rebrand, the company has moved away from its famed point system to an emphasis on making healthy living choices.
Lizzo uploaded the ad to her Instagram feed, but then chose to archive it in response to push back from her fans, who view Weight Watchers as the antithesis of her body positive messaging.
In a lengthy live video (below), Lizzo explained that her motivations for working with WW came from a positive place and as such, she was pained by her fans’ harsh criticisms in the comments of the post featuring the ad. “When things like this happen, I feel like I’m letting you down,” she said.
Lizzo added she wasn’t required to post the ad on her feed, but was excited by the Winfrey co-sign. “Something that was deemed impossible, [Winfrey] made possible so I was excited by that,” said Lizzo, and added, “You guys absolutely know that I would never condone anything that would create eating disorders.”
In the video Lizzo noted she’d eventually like to start up her own wellness company and clothing line because “clearly nothing corporate is going to be completely positive, everything corporate has darkness in it. Because it’s all been a part of this machine that’s been fed to the media to make us feel inadequate.”
She also rejected the concept of cancel culture. “We educate over here, we don’t cancel. If you can cancel me, you shouldn’t have been following me in the first place,” she stated.
For the second-half of the video, Lizzo responded to questions posed by fans watching the session.
On a music note, Lizzo said she’s dropping a new single very soon with a bigger project planned for sometime in 2019.
Check out Lizzo’s Instagram Live video below, along with the WW ad her song is featured in.
WW “For Every Body” ad campaign