Brooke was also candid about the “competitive” environment the girls were in, including the “fight for our lives” to see who got to sing the good parts of a song, and the environment felt hostile. “There was such inappropriateness, too, within the label — talking to us a certain way, talking to me a certain way, making me feel uncomfortable, making me feel inferior and knowing that they can make me feel that way because I was a woman,” she said.
She told Extra on Thursday about the “inappropriateness” she experienced. Brooke recalled at one point how she approached a male executive for help when the girl group was going through a breaking point, and how his alleged behavior ended up making her feel “helpless.”
“There was a lot happening within the group, and we were kind of breaking, and I went to this executive for help. This person said, ‘Oh yes, I can help you. No problem.’ And I felt so much comfort in going to someone,” the “No Good” singer recalled in the interview. “This man, he approached me with a thong. That was the first thing that he gave me. When you go to someone for help and all they meet you with is inappropriateness, it’s horrible … I felt embarrassed, ashamed. I felt helpless.”
Brooke also told Extra’s Jenn Lahmers that sharing the ups and downs she faced in 5H in her new podcast allows her to be more “vulnerable,” which she’s felt very nervous about, and be “real and raw with my fans.” She also points out in her own podcast what she hopes listeners will take away from it while sharing an important reminder for other female artists in the business.
“I’m so thankful I survived that period in my life, and again, I take the blessings with Fifth Harmony and the lessons, because I learned a lot of lessons,” Brooke said in the first podcast episode. “And I hope by me sharing my story that I can help someone else to speak out, to speak up, to maybe be alert and be aware, and know that there’s a better way to get things done, there’s a better way to live and to thrive in this industry. And we as women, we deserve our respect.”
Billboard has reached out to Fifth Harmony’s labels, as well as reps for Normani, Jauregui, Cabello and Jane.
Listen to the first episode of The Ally Brooke Show below.