“That’s Some White Privilege:” Singer Anita “Lady A” White Responds After Country Group Lady A Files Lawsuit Over Name Usage
In peak performative allyship, Lady A, formerly known as Lady Antebellum, will take the cake after the group filed a lawsuit against Anita White, a Black Seattle-based blues singer who has been using the name for 20 years
“Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended,” the country group said in a statement to CBS News. “She and her team have demanded a $10 million payment, so reluctantly we have come to the conclusion that we need to ask a court to affirm our right to continue to use the name Lady A, a trademark we have held for many years.”
The group claims they have used the name Lady A since 2006 and went uncontested after Lady A became an official trademark for the band in 2011.
“White’s attempt to enforce purported trademark rights in a mark that Plaintiffs have held for more than a decade,” the suit states. The band is not seeking monetary damages, according to the filing.
In her Instagram Story White responded to a screenshot of an article about the lawsuit with, “You finally realize your name is racially problematic so you shorten it, then sue the Black woman that has been using that name for almost two decades…That’s some white privilege.”
The development is a startling update and turn of events after the country group announced they were changing their name in June during a heightened set of actions where certain white people, corporations and organizations took steps to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The group who formerly went by Lady Antebellum, decided to change their name to create distance between the racist history of what the word antebellum represents and their music.
Initially, the group and White decided they would share the name, but White openly voiced her discomfort in an interview with Rolling Stone when the moniker was first changed.
“This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. This is too much right now. They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it. It’s an opportunity for them to pretend they’re not racist or pretend this means something to them,” she adds. “If it did, they would’ve done some research. And I’m not happy about that. You found me on Spotify easily — why couldn’t they?”
On June 15, White shared a snapshot of a Zoom call between her and band members Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and David Haywood, pointing to a peaceful resolution. But she later told Newsday that their relationship soured after she received a draft agreement from the band’s attorney’s over a song they were planning to co-write together.
“Their camp is trying to erase me and I’ll more to say tomorrow,” she said. “Trust is important and I no longer trust them.”
White is forging forward as she prepares for the release of her upcoming project, set to drop on July 18.