Lizzo, one of the artists criticized for walking past members of the black press on the Grammy Awards red carpet last month, has taken to Instagram with an explanation.
The “Truth Hurts” singer-songwriter responded to an Instagram post from Embracing Black Culture this week, which singled out several recent incidents showing reps for artists of color escorting them past black and brown journalists.
Included in the post was an article from Urban Hollywood 411 on the issue, and footage of Lizzo posing for pictures on the red carpet but not doing interviews. The viral video, from BlackTree TV founder Jamaal Finkley, showed artists including H.E.R., Gucci Mane, Quavo, and Rosalía breezing past journalists of color as they shouted out questions.
Related Story: Watch: Artists Ignore Black and Brown Reporters on Grammys Red Carpet
Lizzo responded to Embracing Black Culture’s post by saying she wasn’t ignoring the journalists, but had just learned about NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s death earlier in the day and decided not to do any red carpet interviews.
“Just wanna speak for myself. That day at the Grammys, I had just heard the news about Kobe and cancelled all interviews,” she began. “Also, I had to open the show so I had no time on the carpet.”
The Grammy-winning performer went on to say she appreciates the black press, which is often relegated to the very end of red carpet arrivals lines.
“Excuses aside, when I see black journalists on the carpet I always try to connect. I have seen the way they are pushed to the side and I try to tell my reps that I will talk to any one black,” she added. “I will do more and better in the future to make sure I’m not part of the discussion of the marginalization of black journalists.”
Also included in Embracing Black Culture’s post was footage of a publicist escorting Oscar-nominated Harriet actress Cynthia Erivo past veteran reporter Lola Ogunnaike on the Academy Awards red carpet last weekend.
As Ogunnaike pleaded for an interview, Erivo acknowledged the black journalist and told her rep “I have to” stop for an interview.