Cousins! While often celebrated within the music industry for being a multi-faceted entertainer that advocates for feminism and all-around body positivity; Lizzo is shockingly making headlines this week following accusations from three of her former backup dancers for sexual harassment!
According to NBC News, former dancers to Lizzo are taking legal action against her upon claims of sexual harassment, creating a hostile environment and weight shaming.
The former dancers have been identified as Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez who danced for Lizzo and her touring company from 2021 through Spring 2023, reports TMZ. Together they claim that they were either forced to quit or fired for unjustified reasons. It has been indicated that the three women connected to Lizzo through her Amazon reality television show ‘Watch Out for the Big Grrrls’ .
Court documents show that the women are alleging that the Grammy award-winning singer, “pressured one of them to touch a nude performer at an Amsterdam club and subjected the group to an excruciating audition after leveling false accusations that they were drinking on the job.”
Lizzo is also being accused of drawing attention to one of the former dancer’s reported weight gain paired with ridicule. Together they described working for the singer as a nightmare while issuing claims of countless workforce violations including sexual harassment, false imprisonment, interference with prospective economic advantage and more.
Amongst the series of claims the women have described an incident where Lizzo allegedly badgered a dancer for poor performance and accusations of drinking on the job. The former dancers claim that she often threatened to take their jobs and even had them reaudition within a multi-hour rehearsal.
The lawsuit name Lizzo born Melissa Viviane Jefferson as the defendant including managers from her team.
“The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly, while privately she weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing,” says the ladies lawyer Ron Zambrano.
Cousins be sure to check out the official lawsuit report via NBC:
The trip to the Amsterdam strip club, Bananenbar, happened after a performance in the city earlier this year. The suit states that Lizzo’s afterparties were routine and nonmandatory — but alleges that those who attended were favored by the singer and had greater job security.
At the club, Lizzo allegedly “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,” the suit says. “Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women.”
Davis declined, according to the suit, and Lizzo allegedly led a chant goading her to do so. After Davis declined three more times, the chant “grew louder and more strident, demanding a visibly uncomfortable Ms. Davis to engage with the performer.”
When Davis eventually acquiesced and briefly touched the performer, the group burst into laughter, the suit says. Afterward, Lizzo allegedly pressed a member of her security staff to get on stage and began yelling, “take it off,” according to the suit.
“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.
A week later, after a show in Paris, Lizzo invited her dancers to a club so “they would be able to learn something or be inspired by the performance,” the suit says. “What Lizzo failed to mention when inviting the dancers to this performance was that it was a nude cabaret bar.”
The suit described the performance as “artful,” but the plaintiffs were “shocked that Lizzo would conceal the nature of the event from them, robbing them of the choice not to participate.”
The racial harassment claim is linked to what the suit describes as comments “charged with racial and fat-phobic animus” that were made by touring company employees.
In one instance, the former dancers asked to be compensated for their downtime at a rate 50% of their weekly pay, according to the suit. An accountant allegedly responded to the request by offering 25% and scolding them for being “unacceptable and disrespectful.”
“Only the dance cast — comprised of full-figured women of color — were ever spoken to in this manner,” the suit states.
The religious harassment allegation is connected to Quigley, the dance captain who also worked as a judge on Lizzo’s reality show. According to the suit, she preached her Christian beliefs and “took every opportunity to proselytize to any and all in her presence regardless of protestations.”
After discovering that Davis was a virgin, Quigley discussed the subject in interviews and posted about it on social media, the suit says. And when cast members asked her to stop pressuring Rodriguez — whom Quigley regarded as a “non-believer,” according to the suit — about her faith, Quigley responded: “No job and no one will stop me from talking about the Lord.”
Two dancers were fired in April and May. According to the suit, Williams lost her job April 26, days after she spoke up at a meeting in which she challenged an assertion from Lizzo that the dancers were drinking before performances