Lady Of The House founder Laila McKenzie steps down amidst harassment allegations
Founder of female-led collective Lady Of The House, Laila McKenzie has stepped down from her role at the organisation temporarily. This follows allegations of harassment, bullying, and gaslighting against McKenzie.
Established in 2020, Lady Of The House champions the visibility and work of women and femmes in the dance music industry. Starting out as a book project highlighting 150 women in dance music, Lady Of The House has gone on to develop into a grassroots organisation producing reports on the status of women in the industry.
McKenzie has been accused of unethical treatment by her associates, including DJ duo Black Girl / White Girl who pulled out of Lady Of The House’s planned event at Amsterdam Dance Event earlier this month. Speaking to Mixmag, Black Girl / White Girl elaborated on their experience: “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.”
Another associate, Emma, made similar accusations. “She harassed me all hours of the day with endless calls and emails,” she said of McKenzie, “and quite frankly, it was horrendous.”
McKenzie has spoken out about the allegations against her, writing a statement and denying all of them. “I was shocked and saddened by their subsequent public statement and personal attack on my character,” McKenzie writes, adding, “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.”
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A statement released by Lady Of The House confirms McKenzie’s decision to “take time away” from the daily management of the organisation. “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,” Lady Of The House revealed via Instagram, adding that they “offer their support to Laila during this process while we acknowledge the claims and the importance of the correct response.”
“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,” McKenzie further reveals in her statement. She concludes, “I fully expect my reputation to be vindicated in due course. Lady of the House and I thank you for your ongoing support.“
See Lady Of The House’s full statement below.
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