Arts·Here & Queer

Lido Pimienta on creating unapologetically and laughing off the trolls

The creator and host of LIDO TV sits down with Peter Knegt on this episode of Here & Queer to talk about her Canadian Screen Award-nominated variety series.

The creator and host of LIDO TV sits down with Peter Knegt to talk about her bold and singular variety series

Lido Pimienta on the set of Here & Queer.
Lido Pimienta on the set of Here & Queer. (CBC Arts)

Here & Queer is an interview series hosted by Peter Knegt that celebrates and amplifies the work of LGBTQ artists through unfiltered conversations.

There is nothing else in the Canadian media landscape quite like LIDO TV. Created and hosted by Grammy-nominated Colombian Canadian artist Lido Pimienta, the series — the entire first season of which is now available on CBC Gem — blends sketches, interviews, music and documentary into an occasionally unhinged and deeply unapologetic variety show. Topics like colonialism, beauty, identity and feminism are centred in each episode, with Pimienta (who was just nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for her performance) guiding us through them with her truly singular energy.

That energy made its way to the set of Here & Queer, where Pimienta sat down to discuss the origins of LIDO TV, what she wanted to express with the project and what she has to say to the right-wing trolls who unsurprisingly came for the show.

You can watch the full episode below:

The genesis of LIDO TV came when Pimienta was unable to tour her 2020 album Miss Colombia because of the pandemic.

"It just evolved out of necessity slash boredom slash 'I need to be creating,'" she explains. 

So Pimienta assembled an extraordinary team, including writers Tim Fontaine and Sarah Hagi, producers Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea and Sean O'Neill, puppeteer Ali Eisner and the legendary Beverly Glenn-Copeland (who voices the sun in the show). Together, they created what Pimienta has called "a children's show for adults," and one that is very much is not afraid of discussing pretty much anything. 

"Not a lot of people can talk about racism or colonialism," she says. "Not a lot of people can talk about the things we talk about, just because people are afraid."

Pimienta says she knew that given the subject matter covered in LIDO TV, there was going to be backlash from a certain segment of the conservative right (which there was, particularly on Twitter).

"I'm a musician, and I'm pretty out there with my opinions and the messages in my music, so I am no stranger to online vitriol," she says. "It's a part of my life at this point, and not just in Canada but in the U.S. and even in South America."

Lido Pimienta is seen in a promotional still from LIDO TV.
Lido Pimienta in a promotional still from LIDO TV. (CBC Gem)

"I just know that the people that are behind that screen who have the audacity to criticize something so beautiful that they haven't even take the opportunity to learn from or watch or even understand the pure basics of it... are not people that I have to worry about because they hold no power over me. Once you understand that, you just move on."

Pimienta says that she simply chooses to focus on the more positive and loving feedback the show has gotten.

"When we started getting the critiques, I rounded up all the beautiful comments and beautiful articles that [also] did come out after the show premiered and I just ran with that. I'm not going to do anything with the negative or the ignorant.... I'm not really worried about trolls."

Watch season 1 of LIDO TV streaming now on CBC Gem.


Peter Knegt (he/him) is a writer, producer and host for CBC Arts. He writes the LGBTQ-culture column Queeries (winner of the Digital Publishing Award for best digital column in Canada) and hosts and produces the talk series Here & Queer. He's also spearheaded the launch and production of series Canada's a Drag, variety special Queer Pride Inside, and interactive projects Superqueeroes and The 2010s: The Decade Canadian Artists Stopped Saying Sorry. Collectively, these projects have won Knegt four Canadian Screen Awards. Beyond CBC, Knegt is also the filmmaker of numerous short films, the author of the book About Canada: Queer Rights and the host of the monthly film series Queer Cinema Club at Toronto's Paradise Theatre. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter with the same obvious handle: @peterknegt.

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