Lizzo: Former staff support dancers accusing her of sexual harassment and fat-shaming

Lizzo performs ‘Truth Hurts’ at Glastonbury 2023

Lizzo’s former employees are speaking out in support of three backup dancers who accused the singer of sexual harassment and body shaming in a new lawsuit.

The Grammy winner’s former creative director Quinn Wilson is among three of Lizzo’s ex-colleagues who have praised the plaintiffs for their courage “bringing [the allegations] to light”.

Filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison said she declined to direct Lizzo’s 2022 documentary after she was “disrespected” by the “About Damn Time” hitmaker.

The allegations against Lizzo come months after the singer delivered one of the best performances at Glastonbury 2023

(AFP via Getty Images)

According to the legal filing, Lizzo (real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson) allegedly pressured one of her dancers, Arianna Davis, into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam strip club.

It is also alleged that the Grammy winner set up a humiliating 12-hour re-audition for her dancers, and fostered a hostile work environment.

Other allegations against the 35-year-old star, her dance captain Shirlene Quigley, and Lizzo’s production company Big Grrrl Big Touring include assault, racial and religious harassment, fat-shaming, disability discrimination, and false imprisonment.

Representatives for Lizzo and Quigley didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from The Independent.


Watch: Lizzo’s dance captain sends message to fans amid lawsuit allegations

Lizzo’s dance captain sends message to fans amid lawsuit allegations

Tom Murray3 August 2023 02:09


What is alleged to have happened in Amsterdam?

One part of the lawsuit has got a lot of people talking. At an Amsterdam strip club, Lizzo allegedly “hounded” her employees to interact with nude employees.

The suit alleges that the singer “began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.

“Lizzo then turned her attention to [plaintiff] Ms Davis and began pressuring M. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women.”

Davis eventually acquiesced after facing peer pressure from Lizzo, the suit says, causing the rest of the group to burst into laughter.

“Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed,” the suit says.

Tom Murray3 August 2023 00:40


Listen: The Independent’s LA correspondent discusses Lizzo accusations on Woman’s Hour

The Independent’s LA correspondent discusses Lizzo accusations on Woman’s Hour

Tom Murray2 August 2023 21:59


Accusers share first interview

Two of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit have given their first interviews since the filing was announced yesterday.

Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams began dancing for Lizzo after competing on her Amazon Prime Video reality show, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, in 2021.

“If there’s anything that I can do in my power to ensure that dancers or singers or whoever decides to work with her don’t have to go through that same experience, I’m going to do that,” Williams told CBS.

Tom Murray2 August 2023 21:28


Did Beyoncé change lyrics on her tour to omit singer’s name amid sexual harassment claims?

Beyoncé fans have speculated that she left Lizzo’s name out of a live performance due to recent allegations made against the singer.

The pop star, 41, regularly performs “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” as part of her set for the ongoing worldwide Renaissance tour.

There is a segment in the song’s lyrics in which Beyoncé lists off a number of Black female artists, including Lizzo, Lauryn Hill, Betty Davis, and her sister Solange Knowles.

During her performance in Boston, Massachusetts on Tuesday night (1 August), the singer altered the lyrics, appearing to leave out Lizzo’s name on purpose.

Maanya Sachdeva2 August 2023 21:03


Lizzo, the poster girl for body positivity, whose empowering image is now under threat

The “Good as Hell” singer has crafted a globally successful brand of body positivity and self-love, backed up by a litany of empowerment anthems. But as the star faces shocking allegations in a new lawsuit, my colleague Kate Ng digs into how she got here.

Maanya Sachdeva2 August 2023 20:03


Fans ask Lizzo to respond to allegations in new lawsuit

Lizzo’s fans are calling on the singer to respond to the allegations of sexual harassment and fat-shaming as outlined in a lawsuit filed by three of her former troupe members.

Social media users are asking the Grammy winner to address the accusations in the comments section of her latest post, shared yesterday.

“Please address the sexual harassment lawsuit,” one comment read, while another person said: “In order to know exactly what happened we should wait for an statement from both sides to confirm whether or not the allegations are true.”

Maanya Sachdeva2 August 2023 19:03


Lizzo’s ex-employees praise accusers for their ‘courage to bring this to light’

Since reports of the lawsuit began to emerge, several of Lizzo’s previous collaborators have spoken out in support of the accusers.

Courtney Hollinquest, a dancer who used to be a part of Lizzo’s dance troupe, shared an NBC News article about the lawsuit before stating that she had had a similar experience.

“For clarification, I’m not a part of the lawsuit – but this was very much my experience in my time there,” Hollinquest wrote on her Instagram Story on Tuesday. “Big shoutout to the dancers who had the courage to bring this to light.”

Lizzo’s former creative director Quinn Wilson said she “grieves part of my own experience” working with the Grammy winner, asking space “to understand my feelings”.

(Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Maanya Sachdeva2 August 2023 18:03


ICYMI: Lizzo sued over alleged sexual harassment and hostile work environment by former dancers

If you’re just joining us now, Lizzo’s former troupe members have filed a lawsuit against the “Rumors” single, claiming she sexually harassed them and created a toxic working environment.

The plaintiffs’ accusations have come as a shock to the singer’s fans, as Lizzo is known for promoting body positivity and supporting women’s rights.

You can read more about the filing here:

Maanya Sachdeva2 August 2023 17:03


Lizzo’s past lyrics raise eyebrows after singer’s sued by former dancers

Lyrics from a famous Lizzo song are raising eyebrows in the wake of the lawsuit filed against the singer.

The singer is being sued by her former dancers for alleged sexual harassment and for allegedly establishing a hostile work environment, with the lawsuit claiming that Lizzo “hounded” one of the plaintiffs into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam strip club.

(Prime Video)

Since the lawsuit was reported, lyrics from Lizzo’s Cardi B collaboration “Rumors”, released in 2021, are circulating social media.

The lyrics read: “Had to cut some hoes loose, yeah / NDA, no loose lips / Now them hoes tryna sue me / B****, I don’t give two s***s / All the rumors are true, yeah.”

Maanya Sachdeva2 August 2023 16:02

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