UltraViolet Responds to Sexual Abuser Nigel Lythgoe Leaving “So You Think You Can Dance,” Renews Calls for Grammys to Rescind Diddy’s Nomination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, January 6, 2024
CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro | anna@unbendablemedia.com

UltraViolet Responds to Sexual Abuser Nigel Lythgoe Leaving “So You Think You Can Dance,” Renews Calls for Grammys to Rescind Diddy’s Nomination

LOS ANGELES, CA — Yesterday, Fox announced Nigel Lythgoe will step down as a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance.” In a joint statement from the show’s producers, it was clarified that the program will continue without Lythgoe’s involvement. 

The news comes as sexual abuse allegations against Lythgoe were made by two different women , just after Paula Abdul sued him, citing “multiple” instances of sexual assault and battery.

In response to this news, Shaunna Thomas, Founder and Executive Director at UltraViolet, a national gender justice advocacy organization that urged Fox to fire Lythgoe, issued the following remarks:

“The allegations of sexual abuse by three women, including Paula Abdul, against Nigel Lythgoe exemplify the entertainment industry’s tacit compliance and enabling of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse. 

“Given Fox’s timely announcement to continue the show without Lythgoe as a judge on ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ we are renewing calls for the Recording Academy to rescind Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs’ nomination and invitation to the Grammy Awards next month.

“As the Recording Academy ‘evaluates’ whether to take disciplinary measures against Diddy, we strongly urge them to act sooner than later. Anything less shows disregard and disrespect to survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of wealthy, powerful men like Nigel Lythgoe and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.”

Earlier this week, Ultraviolet launched a campaign demanding that Fox Entertainment and Allison Wallach, president of unscripted programming, fire Nigel Lythgoe from “So You Think You Can Dance.” 

UltraViolet has long urged Fox Corporation to take sexual abuse seriously. 

Eight years ago, UltraViolet was one of the first groups to urge that Fox News fire Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes for sexual misconduct and abuse. In 2019, UltraViolet demanded that Fox News fire former host Tucker Carlson for his lewd and perverted comments about children. The following year, the group called on Fox News to investigate Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson regarding allegations of their sexual misconduct. 

Last month, UltraViolet launched a petition amid reports that the Grammy’s are “evaluating” Sean Diddy Combs’ invitation to the event after four different women accused Diddy of sexual abuse.

READ THE FULL PETITION HERE: https://act.weareultraviolet.org/sign/Diddy_Grammys

UltraViolet has a long-running connection to the #MeToo movement and the music industry. 

In 2014, pop singer Kesha came forward to accuse music producer Dr. Luke sexual assault. After the allegations were made public, UltraViolet hosted petitions, organized protests, and publicly advocated for Sony Music to “Free Kesha” from her relationship with her alleged abuser. 

In 2018, following Spotify’s decision to remove R. Kelly and other infamous abusers from its official playlists, UltraViolet penned an open letter to Spotify CEO applauding the company’s decision, but urging Elk to look deeper at other artists with a history of sexual and physical abuse that continued to profit from Spotify’s promotion. Ultimately, Spotify reversed its decision to hold abusers accountable and added R. Kelly back to official Spotify-promoted playlists. 

One year later, tens of thousands of people signed UltraViolet’s petition, echoing calls of the #MuteRKelly campaign, urging RCA Records to drop Kelly.  UltraViolet also commissioned a plane banner to fly over Sony Music’s HQs in Los Angeles, demanding RCA Records to sever ties with R Kelly and took part in the “#MuteRKelly Rally to Protect Black Girls” at Sony Music HQ’s in New York City.

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