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​Lady Of The House founder accused of “bullying, gaslighting, and harassment”

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Laila Mckenzie, the founder of femme-focused collective and record label Lady Of The House, has been accused of “bullying, gaslighting, and harassment” from former associates.

Accusations first came to light on Tuesday, October 18, when DJ duo Black Girl / White Girl posted a statement on social media alleging “unethical” treatment from Mckenzie.

The duo pulled out of their forthcoming show at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in conjunction with Lady Of The House, stating: “Pulling out of this show was a decision we had to make because of the way we’ve been treated by Laila.”

Speaking to Mixmag, BG/WG said: “Two days prior to the event, we were forced to withdraw our performance and halt our collaboration with LOTH due to the unsettling behaviour that Laila had exhibited, and the derogatory comments she had made during this time.

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“She has personally attacked us using condescending and dehumanising language, deliberately perpetuating the very kind of conduct and practices that she and the LOTH organisation loudly proclaim to want to eliminate from the music industry,” they added.

“Additionally, she has failed to fulfil the financial obligations that were agreed upon, minimising us the entire time while using her position of authority to bully us into submission.

“As queer, female-identifying artists of colour, we feel completely betrayed by someone who has profiled herself as ‘one of us’, as a social justice advocate, supposedly working towards advancing marginalised persons in the music industry.”

Lady Of The House, a collective established to ‘celebrate, champion, and honour’ the often sidelined contribution of women in dance music, have since responded to allegations. “We are saddened to hear that artists we sought to include within our programming felt mistreated,” LOTH told Mixmag.

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“Lady of the House exists to celebrate, honour and support women in dance music. We believe in everybody’s right to free speech and expression, but will choose to manage this dispute privately with respect for all involved.”

Since Black Girl / White Girl’s initial accusation, another former associate of LOTH, Emma, came forward to share her experiences with Laila. “I was brought on board at LOTH by Laila as her Marketing Manager,” Emma tells Mixmag.

“She was constantly condescending, stressing that she has more experience than I do. She harassed me all hours of the day with endless calls and emails, and quite frankly, it was horrendous,” she said.

“I resigned after five days because she spoke to me as if I was totally worthless. When I sent my resignation email stating how I disliked the way she spoke to me and treated me, she said that if I was more experienced, she’d have been nicer.

“I would never speak to my team the way she spoke to me. In fact, I would never speak to anybody the way she spoke to me,” she added.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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