Out teen pop performer JoJo Siwa recently revealed that the president of an unnamed company reacted badly when she publicly came out over two years ago. Nickelodeon, one of her former employers, said the incident “certainly did not happen” there.
In a March 23 TikTok video, Siwa wrote that after she came out in January 2021, the company she worked for said it needed to have a meeting with her “ASAP.”
“During this meeting, the PRESIDENT of the company negatively asked me ‘what are you gonna tell your young demographic,’” Siwa wrote in her video. “I took a second to process what I was just asked, and then… I replied… ‘THE TRUTH,’ I’ve never seen a man roll his eyes so far in the back of his head.”
“It was silent so I started talking again,” she continued. “I said ‘I’m not gonna hide who I am and who I love to anyone, ESPECIALLY to the next generation.’ He didn’t like that very much.”
Siwa’s video ended with her writing, “However, since I came, out SO many adults say to me ‘I wish I had someone like you when I was younger.’ Which reminds me every time that I did the right thing and to never let ANYONE change who you are.”
In her video, Siwa danced and lip-synched the words to LGBTQ-ally Megan Trainor’s new song “Mother.” The song states, ” Mr. Big boy, pulling up in your big toy / Sayin’ all that blah, blah, blah / Makin’ all that big noise / ‘Cause you’re so frustrated, emasculated / ‘Cause you got your sh*t called out by this little lady / Yet your opinion’s so strong / Even when you’re wrong / Bet that feels like power to you / Must’ve forgot who you’re talkin’ to.”
In a statement, the children’s entertainment network Nickelodeon wrote, “We are unaware of what incident or meeting JoJo is referencing, but it certainly did not happen at Nickelodeon. We have valued and supported JoJo since day one of our relationship together and we still do today.”
Despite Siwa’s past public criticism of Nickelodeon for using her music but not including her at its events, Siwa and Nickelodeon will release a Pride-themed apparel collaboration in May. A portion of its proceeds will go to GLSEN, the national advocacy group for LGBTQ+-student inclusion.
Siwa is a 19-year-old musician and social media influencer who identifies as pansexual. She has numerous hit songs, fills stadiums for her concerts, was part of the first same-sex dancing couple on the reality show Dancing with the Stars, and has merchandising deals with Target, Walmart, and JC Penney with her name and face on all sorts of products.
When she first came out on January 23, 2021, Siwa shared an image of herself wearing a t-shirt that said, “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” Later, she said she was still figuring out how to identify her sexual orientation.
“I always believed that my person was going to be my person and if that person happened to be a boy, great! And if that person happened to be a girl, great! I think in life, you know when you meet your person,” she said in a January 24, 2021 Instagram Live post.
Though she received supportive messages from celebrities like Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian West, and Lil Nas X, she couldn’t sleep for days because of the negative backlash she received online. One unknown hater even sent the police to her home.
Since coming out, Siwa has dated Kylie Prew, Katie Mills, and social media star Avery Cyrus. Siwa recently told People magazine that she first realized she was attracted to girls while visiting Disney World.
“I fell in love for the first time at Disney World. I realized I was gay at Disney World. I went through stages of heartbreak at Disney World. There’s been a lot in my personal life that Disney World has really attributed to,” she said.
“I was [at Disney World] for 14 days with a girl that was my really good friend and I realized that, ‘Oh, I like her,'” Siwa continued. “And having all those feelings while just being in the most magical place in the world and the happiest place on Earth was so cool. We’re not together anymore, but we did have some really fun, happy memories.”