Pop sensation and superstar Lizzo has been accused in a lawsuit by three former dancers who had worked on her 2022-2023 Special tour. The dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodrriguez, allege that Lizzo harassed them and created a hostile work environment.
The allegations of body-shaming have been extremely surprising and disappointing, as Lizzo has outwardly promoted and worked towards creating an atmosphere of body positivity, self-love, and acceptance.
The dancers allege in the suit that Lizzo exposed them to “an overtly sexual atmosphere” and pressured them to “attend outings where nudity and sexuality were a focal point,” not taking into consideration the dancers’ personal feelings of comfort. According to the lawsuit, the outings were optional, but those who attended were seemed to be favored and were selected to perform with Lizzo outside of regularly scheduled tour dates.
Davis, Williams, and Rodriguez claim that in February, at a nightclub in Amsterdam’s red-light district, Lizzo “hounded her employees to catch dildos ejected from performers’ vaginas,” “cheered loudly to motivate employees to eat bananas protruding from performers’ vaginas,” and “shouted at her security guard to remove his pants while he was being whipped.” The women also alleged that Lizzo pressured one of them to touch a nude performer at an Amsterdam club.
Not only does the suit claim that the former dancers were sexually harassed, but it alleges that Lizzo constantly made comments about the dancers’ weight. Arianna Davis claims that Lizzo and dance choreographer Tanisha Scott fat-shamed Davis on tour, explaining that she was continuously pressured to explain her weight gain.
Davis also alleges that Lizzo and Scott claimed that her weight gain was affecting her performance, that she “seemed less bubbly and vivacious” than she had at the start of the tour.
The suit also accuses Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, of making sexually inappropriate comments and subjecting dancers to her personal religious beliefs. Quigley allegedly singled out Rodrguez for not being a Christian and “made it her mission to preach at Ms. Rodriguez,” the suit says.
Davis, Williams, and Rodriguez’ lawyer Ron Zambrano statesthat “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.”
A couple days after the allegations, Lizzo denied the allegations in a statement posted on her Instagram: “Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed,” she wrote. “These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.”
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