Blues singer Anita White, also known as Lady A, has released a new statement criticizing the country group formerly known as Lady Antebellum for “making sincere gestures” in their efforts to also change their names. in Lady A before trying to use “their wealth and influence to intimidate me and intimidate me into submission.” ”
“It is now clear that their apologies, their friendly lyrics and their play on my love of God were nothing but sincere gestures to calm me down,” White wrote. “Well, I won’t be silent anymore. ”
Last month, Lady Antebellum announced that she would change her name to become Lady A in response to the protests by George Floyd, as the word “Antebellum” is associated with the period of slavery in the American South. When they discovered that White had been using the name for more than 20 years, they asked him for a possible agreement to share it. In a statement reiterating many of the points she raised in an interview with Rolling Stone released on Friday, White says that she asked the group for $ 10 million to take the name of Lady A, $ 5 million to allow her to rename themselves with a new name and $ 5 million to donate to a black charity.
Instead, the group has now filed a lawsuit against White in Tennessee, requesting no monetary damages but legal permission for the group and the singer to use Lady A without interference from each other. The lawyers for the group maintain in the trial that the abbreviation Lady A had been used by the group when it was marketed since 2006 and that the group had obtained a brand for Lady A in 2011.
“I got the impression from our communications that it would appeal to Hillary, Charles and Dave. I guess I was wrong, ”wrote White, referring to group members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood. “Their refusal to reach an agreement that would respect my work and my rights, however, gave me clarity and the desire not to back down. ”
White also rejects the idea that shortening the group’s name from Lady Antebellum to Lady A would remove the racist overtones from their name, saying that “The A in their name means Antebellum and always will be.” ”
“If they are truly committed to racial equality, why do they want to maintain this association, especially when it means making a public and intentional position to disregard me and my rights? ” she wrote. “It is absurd that Lady Antebellum chose to show her commitment to racial equality by taking the name of a black woman, especially at this time when we are reminded every day to ‘say her name’. This is another demonstration of what continues to be taken from us in the present. ”
Read White’s full statement below.
« Black Lives, Names, Experiences, Work, Art – They All Matter. »
10 juillet 2020, Seattle, WA
“I first heard of Lady Antebellum’s name change after it was published on June 11, 2020, when I was shocked and taken aback. During the first calls with group members – Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood – I was hoping that we could reach an agreement that would leave both parties intact. Lady Antebellum understood that their use of “Antebellum” was offensive and that their adoption of Lady A was hurting me because I had been using the name professionally for over 30 years.
“Although they recognized their impact, Lady Antebellum was not receptive to my proposals to correct their infraction, unfortunately. It has already been shown why coexistence simply will not work. My fans could listen to my music via streaming services, now they’re having trouble finding me. Due to Lady Antebellum’s massive rebranding efforts, Lady Antebellum has erased me from all platforms. It is now clear that their apologies, their friendly texts and their play on my love of God were only sincere gestures aimed at calming me down. Well, I will no longer be silent.
“After being called for taking my name, Lady Antebellum and their team of publicists and lawyers do what many privileged people do when asked to stop and refrain from bad behavior. Hillary, Charles and Dave are trying to change the narrative by minimizing my voice and belittling my experience as an artist – as if having lots of money gives them permission to trample on my rights. I have worked too long and too hard to just give my name.
“The group’s decision to change its name to Lady A follows the trend of many other groups and organizations working to distance themselves from racism following the uprisings in this post-George Floyd world. Someone finally told them – or maybe they knew all along and didn’t care until now – that their name reminds blacks of how much we have been taken in the past: our lives, our freedom, our languages, our families and, yes, our names. It is absurd that Lady Antebellum chose to show her commitment to racial equality by taking the name of a black woman, especially at this time when we are reminded every day to “say her name”. is yet another demonstration of what continues to be taken from us in the Given the way Hillary, Charles and Dave treated me, I am not surprised that they have used the name of Lady Antebellum for so long or that their remedy is to adopt a name that is only less openly racist. name means Antebellum and always will be. If they are truly committed to racial equality, why do they want to maintain this association, especially when it means making a position publicly and deliberately to disregard me and my rights?
“Lady A is my identity – and that since 1987. I want to be able to freely use my brand that I have spent decades building. I don’t want to part with it. It is particularly painful for me, as a black woman “, to lose my name at THIS time and in this place so that Lady Antebellum can use it as a shortcut to celebrate an era and a place linked and very dependent on slavery. I asked for $ 5 million to compensate for this loss and help me rebuild under a new name. I also asked that they donate $ 5 million to a charity so that we can work together to promote racial equality. I got the impression from our communications that Hillary, Charles and Dave would like it. I guess I was wrong.
“Their refusal to reach an agreement that would respect my work and my rights, however, gave me clarity and the desire not to back down. The lives, names, experiences, work, art of black people – they all count. independent artists contacted me to share their stories of name quarrels they lost because they were on the other side of money and privileges. Not only will I not be one of them, but I hope this fight for what is rightly mine will help those who have been victims of this type of bullying and obliteration in the past, and that will prevent it from happening in the future. I will not allow Lady Antebellum to erase me and my career so that they can look “awake” to their Fans. “
Gallery: All about the Lady A (American weekly) name change trial