Demi Lovato apologizes for Snapchat video making fun of Zika virus
23-year-old pop star shared video on Snapchat of mom saying everyone in Rio 'gonna get the Zika virus'
Pop sensation Demi Lovato is apologizing for a video she shared on Snapchat Friday of her mother joking about the Zika virus.
"In no way did I mean to offend anyone last night," the 23-year-old Cool for the Summer singer posted on Twitter Saturday.
In the Snapchat video, which has since disappeared but was captured and posted on Instagram, Lovato's mother, Dianna Hart, is seen on camera saying "everyone down in Rio is gonna get the Zika virus." There is laughter from Lovato in the background afterwards.
Warning: explicit language
The comment was met with significant backlash on social media, particularly from Brazilians, including a hashtag that started trending: #DemiLovatoIsOverParty. Many labelled the video as insensitive and disrespectful, given the seriousness of the mosquito-spreading disease in Olympic-host country Brazil. It can lead to microcephaly in babies if contracted by a pregnant woman.
While many of her fans, known as Lovatics, defended the pop star by saying it was her mother who made the comment, Lovato offered her "deepest apologies."
"I was laughing at how southern my mom sounded, not the issue at hand," Lovato added in her apology.
In no way did I mean to offend anyone last night. I was laughing at how southern my mom sounded, not the issue at hand. Deepest apologies.—@ddlovato
The singer's mother also posted an apology, saying she "never meant to hurt anyone."
My deepest and sincerest apologies to everyone who was offended by this. I never meant to hurt anyone. I'm sorry. 😥 <a href="https://t.co/Xm2OtjaKIj">https://t.co/Xm2OtjaKIj</a>—@DiannaDeLaGarza
The video stands out against Lovato's seemingly more socially conscious side. She has spoken out about mental illness and eating disorders in the past and also paid tribute to victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting in June when she performed in that city the following month.