HomeEntertainmentFormer Tour Dancers Accuse...

Former Tour Dancers Accuse Lizzo of Harassment and Hostile Work Environment in Lawsuit

Three of Lizzo’s former dancers filed a lawsuit against her on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, accusing the Grammy-winning singer and the captain of her dance team creating a hostile work environment while performing concerts on her Special Tour this year.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was provided to The New York Times by the plaintiffs’ law firm, said the dancers had been “exposed to an overtly sexual atmosphere that permeated their workplace,” which included “outings where nudity and sexuality were a focal point,” it said. The suit was first reported by NBC.

The defendants include Lizzo, using her full name Melissa Jefferson instead of her stage name; her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc.; and Shirlene Quigley, the tour’s dance captain. It does not specify whether the singer was aware of the plaintiffs’ allegations linked to Ms. Quigley.

The suit alleges that Lizzo and Ms. Quigley were involved in several episodes that lawyers for the three dancers said amounted to sexual and religious harassment and weight shaming, among other allegations.

The suit alleges that Ms. Quigley “made it her mission to preach” Christianity to the dancers, and fixated on virginity, while Lizzo sexually harassed them.

On one occasion while at a nightclub in Amsterdam, the lawsuit says, Lizzo began inviting employees to touch nude performers and handle dildos and bananas used in their performances.

Out of fear of retaliation, a dancer eventually “acquiesced” to touching the breast of a nude female performer despite repeatedly expressing no interest in doing so, the suit says.

Representatives for Lizzo and her production company did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.

Two of the plaintiffs, Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams, began performing with Lizzo after competing on her reality television show on Amazon Prime, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” in 2021. The show was an opportunity to give plus-size dancers representation, Lizzo said at the time. Ms. Davis and Ms. Williams were fired in the spring of 2023, the lawsuit says.

Separately, a third plaintiff, Noelle Rodriguez, was hired in May 2021 to perform in Lizzo’s “Rumors” music video and remained on as part of her dance team. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Rodriguez resigned shortly after Ms. Davis and Ms. Williams had been fired.

Some of the allegations seemed to take aim at Lizzo’s reputation for championing body positivity and inclusivity.

“The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly,” a lawyer for the plaintiffs, Ron Zambrano, said in a statement on Monday. Privately, he said, Lizzo “weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing.”

Some of Lizzo’s statements to the dancers gave Ms. Davis, who was diagnosed with a binge eating disorder, the impression that she had to “explain her weight gain and disclose intimate personal details about her life in order to keep her job,” the suit says.

Since her breakout hit “Truth Hurts” dominated charts in 2019, Lizzo has popularized “feel-good music” and self-love and has celebrated diversity in all forms by churning out empowerment anthems, introducing a size-inclusive shapewear line and racking up millions of views on social media.

She won this year’s Grammy for record of the year for “About Damn Time.”

Diana Reddy, an assistant professor at the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, said that allegations that fall outside legally protected categories could undermine Lizzo’s body-positive message and “could certainly encourage a settlement.”

Proving a hostile work environment in the unconventional entertainment industry is difficult, she said, so the plaintiffs’ lawyers could be hoping for a settlement. “Employment discrimination plaintiffs don’t fare particularly well in court,” Ms. Reddy said.

Source link

Most Popular


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

Read Now

Team India Squad for T20 World Cup 2024 Announced: Here’s India’s official team for T20 WC – Republic World

India T20 World Cup squad announcement | Image:APTeam India's squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2024 has been announced. On Tuesday, the selection committee led by chief selector Ajit Agarkar convened in Ahmedabad and zeroed in on a 15-member unit, which they deem is the...

Justice Minallah says state has to protect judges, independence of judiciary

Justice Athar Minallah on Tuesday said the state had to protect the judges and the judiciary’s independence as the Supreme Court took up a suo motu case pertaining to allegations of interference in judicial affairs.A six-member bench resumed...

Stock futures slip slightly as investors look ahead to Fed decision, megacap earnings: Live updates

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during morning trading on February 29, 2024 in New York City. Michael M. Santiago | Getty ImagesU.S. stock futures fell slightly Tuesday morning after a positive start to the week, as investors brace for megacap earnings,...

Europe’s Economic Laggards Have Become Its Leaders

Something extraordinary is happening to the European economy: Southern nations that nearly broke up the euro currency bloc during the financial crisis in 2012 are growing faster than Germany and other big countries that have long served as the region’s growth engines.The dynamic is bolstering the...

Trump’s Plans for the Fed Make No Sense, Even for Him

A second Trump administration might be very different from the first, and that includes how the president treats the Fed. Donald Trump complained a lot about the US Federal Reserve when he was president, jawboning for lower interest rates and questioning its competence. Yet at the...

Police to launch raids to find migrants to deport to Rwanda, Cabinet Minister claims

Police will mount raids to find missing migrants so they can be deported to Rwanda, a Cabinet minister has said.Health Secretary Victoria Atkins was commenting on reports that the Home Office has lost contact with thousands of people who are set to be removed from the...

The French #Metoo Scandal Unraveling in Weinstein’s Shadow

French actor Gérard Depardieu was ordered to stand trial for allegedly sexually assaulting two women on a film set three years ago, marking the latest legal escalation for the 75-year-old movie star who has become a central figure in France’s #MeToo movement.The announcement coincides with a...

Hong Kong Bitcoin and Ether ETFs Have Soft Debut

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired...

Customization Overview | Halo Infinite CU32

Operation: Banished Honor arrives on April 30 and you’re gonna want to look the part! After all, the Banished welcome all who pledge their service to Atriox, and your new allegiance and mindset demands a new outfit, so let’s find out more about the customization that...

T20 World Cup 2024 Squads: From India To Australia, Check Here Team-Wise Full Players List, Venues, Fixture, Timings And More

ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Cricket Matches Full Schedule: The T20 World Cup 2024 promises to be an exhilarating showcase of cricketing talent from around the globe. With teams from various nations competing for the prestigious title, fans can expect intense matches filled with thrilling moments...

How the Twins’ summer sausage celebration got made: It sparked the offense, but should they eat it?

CHICAGO — With Abe Froman unavailable, I called sausage expert Elias Cairo to address Rocco Baldelli’s concerns about a potentially hazardous pre-encased meat currently residing in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse.Nearly a week after it arrived and with the package showing visible signs of wear, tear and...