Three of Lizzo’s former dancers filed a lawsuit towards her on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court docket, accusing the Grammy-winning singer and the captain of her dance workforce making a hostile work atmosphere whereas performing concert events on her Particular Tour this yr.
The lawsuit, a duplicate of which was offered to The New York Instances by the plaintiffs’ legislation agency, mentioned the dancers had been “uncovered to an overtly sexual environment that permeated their office,” which included “outings the place nudity and sexuality had been a focus,” it mentioned. The go well with was first reported by NBC.
The defendants embody Lizzo, utilizing her delivery title Melissa Jefferson; her manufacturing firm, Large Grrrl Large Touring Inc.; and Shirlene Quigley, the tour’s dance captain. It doesn’t specify whether or not the singer was conscious of the plaintiffs’ allegations linked to Ms. Quigley.
The go well with alleges that Lizzo and Ms. Quigley had been concerned in a number of episodes that attorneys for the three dancers mentioned amounted to sexual and spiritual harassment and weight shaming, amongst different allegations.
The go well with alleges that Ms. Quigley “made it her mission to evangelise” Christianity to the dancers, and fixated on virginity, whereas Lizzo sexually harassed them.
On one event whereas at a nightclub in Amsterdam, the lawsuit says, Lizzo started inviting staff to the touch nude performers and deal with dildos and bananas used of their performances.
Out of concern of retaliation, a dancer ultimately “acquiesced” to touching the breast of a nude feminine performer regardless of repeatedly expressing little interest in doing so, the go well with says.
Representatives for Lizzo and her manufacturing firm didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon Monday.
Two of the plaintiffs, Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams, started performing with Lizzo after competing on her actuality tv present on Amazon Prime, “Watch Out for the Large Grrrls,” in 2021. The present was a possibility to provide plus-size dancers illustration, Lizzo said at the time. Ms. Davis and Ms. Williams had been fired within the spring of 2023, the lawsuit says.
Individually, a 3rd plaintiff, Noelle Rodriguez, was employed in Could 2021 to carry out in Lizzo’s “Rumors” music video and remained on as a part of her dance workforce. In keeping with the lawsuit, Ms. Rodriguez resigned shortly after Ms. Davis and Ms. Williams had been fired.
A few of the allegations appeared to take purpose at Lizzo’s status for championing physique positivity and inclusivity.
“The gorgeous nature of how Lizzo and her administration workforce handled their performers appears to go towards all the pieces Lizzo stands for publicly,” a lawyer for the plaintiffs, Ron Zambrano, mentioned in a press release on Monday. Privately, he mentioned, Lizzo “weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in methods that aren’t solely unlawful however completely demoralizing.”
A few of Lizzo’s statements to the dancers gave Ms. Davis, who was recognized with a binge consuming dysfunction, the impression that she needed to “clarify her weight achieve and disclose intimate private particulars about her life with a purpose to preserve her job,” the go well with says.
Since her breakout hit “Fact Hurts” dominated charts in 2019, Lizzo has popularized “feel-good music” and self-love and has celebrated range in all varieties by churning out empowerment anthems, introducing a size-inclusive shapewear line and racking up tens of millions of views on social media.
She received this yr’s Grammy for report of the yr for “About Rattling Time.”
Diana Reddy, an assistant professor on the College of Regulation on the College of California, Berkeley, mentioned that allegations that fall exterior legally protected classes might undermine Lizzo’s body-positive message and “might definitely encourage a settlement.”
Proving a hostile work atmosphere within the unconventional leisure trade is troublesome, she mentioned, so the plaintiffs’ attorneys may very well be hoping for a settlement. “Employment discrimination plaintiffs don’t fare significantly effectively in courtroom,” Ms. Reddy mentioned.