American singer Lizzo is facing a legal battle after being sued by three of her former backup dancers. The dancers, named Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, have accused the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.
According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Lizzo allegedly made inappropriate comments about the dancers’ weight and pressured one of them to touch a nude performer in a strip club during a visit to Amsterdam. The plaintiffs claim that Lizzo encouraged cast members to engage in explicit activities, such as catching dildos launched from performers’ vaginas and eating bananas protruding from performers’ vaginas.
The lawsuit also implicates Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, who is accused of sharing lewd sexual fantasies and publicly discussing the virginity of one of the plaintiffs while berating others who had engaged in pre-marital sex.
The complaints in the lawsuit include allegations of a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, religious harassment, racial harassment, disability discrimination, and failure to prevent or remedy the harassment. Lizzo is specifically accused of disability discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and failing to address these issues. Her touring company, Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc., is also named as a defendant in the case.
During the Amsterdam strip club visit, Lizzo allegedly pressured one of the dancers, Ms. Davis, to touch the breasts of a nude performer, chanting loudly to encourage her to do so. Davis eventually complied with Lizzo’s demands. The plaintiffs express shock and dismay at the lack of regard Lizzo showed for their bodily autonomy, especially in the presence of others employed by her.
In another incident, Lizzo invited the dancers to a club in Paris without disclosing that it was a nude cabaret bar, leaving the dancers feeling robbed of the choice not to participate.
Additionally, Lizzo allegedly accused the dancers of drinking before performances, which led to Williams losing her job after speaking out about it. During a 12-hour rehearsal, Davis was so fearful of losing her job that she soiled her pants, and was then given a see-through outfit with no undergarments to finish the performance.
Furthermore, when Davis recorded a meeting due to an eye condition that leaves her disoriented, Lizzo became furious, hurled expletives at the group, and demanded to know who made the recording. As a result, Lizzo had security confiscate the dancers’ phones.
When Rodriguez expressed feeling disrespected and threatened to resign, Lizzo responded with hostility, and upon her eventual resignation, Lizzo yelled a slur at her and showed her two middle fingers.
The lawsuit paints a contrasting image of Lizzo, known for her gregarious body positivity, as it highlights the alleged mistreatment and demeaning behavior towards her former dancers. The legal battle will now proceed, and the allegations will be subject to examination and scrutiny in the court of law.