Lady Of The House founder temporarily steps down following harassment accusations
The collective and record label has condemned "threats of violence" against its founder
Updated 27/10/22 to include statement from Lady Of The House founder Laila Mckenzie
Laila Mckenzie, founder of Lady Of The House, has temporarily stepped down from the femme-focused organisation following accusations of harassment, bullying, and gaslighting.
Mckenzie was first accused of “unethical” treatment of her associates by DJ duo Black Girl / White Girl earlier this month, who pulled out of their upcoming show with Lady Of The House at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).
The pair cited “bullying, gaslighting, threats, and verbal abuse” as their reason for pulling out of the show, all of which had allegedly come directly from LOTH’s founder, Laila Mckenzie.
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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,” BG/WG told Mixmag.
Elsewhere, another former associate, Emma, accused Mckenzie of similar experiences, telling Mixmag: “She harassed me all hours of the day with endless calls and emails, and quite frankly, it was horrendous.”
Lady Of The House have since issued a statement across social media, noting that Mckenzie has made a decision to “take time away” from the day-to-day management of the collective.
“Understandably, this whole situation would affect the mental health and wellbeing of anyone under such scrutiny, and LOTH offer their support to Laila during this process while we acknowledge the claims and the importance of the correct response,” reads the statement.
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“As we explore all sides of this dispute, the LOTH team wholeheartedly condemns the threats of physical violence and other vile suggestions made against Laila or any of our members; we do not condone bullying in any shape or form.”
The collective was originally established to ‘celebrate, champion, and honour’ the often sidelined contribution of women in dance music. In recent months, the organisation founded a new self-titled record label and released a book shining a light on the pioneering women in dance music.
“During this time, all projects and ongoing activities will be managed by the advisory board, including the launch of our label and support of our first slate of artists.”
Laila Mckenzie has denied all claims, writing in a statement: "I am aware of allegations made on social media about my behaviour."
"I was shocked and saddened by their subsequent public statement and personal attack on my character."
The statement continues: "Since then several industry publications have republished the allegations without taking sufficient (or in many cases, any) steps to verify the truthfulness of them. I wholly reject the allegations made. Lady of the House takes any allegations of this sort extremely seriously. "
"As such, key members of Lady of the House Advisory Board have conducted a swift and thorough review of the written communications underlying the allegations made by BGWG, and have found no evidence of any wrongdoing.
"The matter is now in the hands of my solicitors, Brett Wilson LLP, and therefore it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this stage, other than to say that I intend to take all necessary steps to protect my reputation, and the reputation of Lady of the House, and to ensure that Lady of the House can continue championing and empowering women in the electronic music industry."
"I fully expect my reputation to be vindicated in due course. Lady of the House and I thank you for your ongoing support.“
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter