Social media has imploded over the collection of allegations that Lizzo faces in this shocking lawsuit.
On Tuesday, three former Lizzo dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against the Grammy winner, citing sexual harassment, racial harassment, and a toxic work environment. The “Rumors” singer, whose real name is Melissa Vivianne Jefferson, her touring company Big Grrrl Big Touring, and her dance team captain, Shirley Quigley, have all been named as defendants in the lawsuit. In the suit, Quigley was accused of proselytizing to Lizzo’s dancers, as well as ridiculing performers who engaged in premarital sex and publicly discussing one plaintiff’s virginity in interviews. Additionally, the suit claims false imprisonment and interference with potential economic advantage.
“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,” said Ron Zambrano, the dancers’ lawyer, in a statement.
There’s a lengthy list of allegations within the lawsuit, but not all of them apply to each defendant. The plaintiffs, Davis and Williams started dancing with Lizzo after competing in the Emmy-winning Prime Video reality dance competition Watch Out for the Big Grrrls in 2021, whereas Rodriguez was hired after performing in Lizzo and Cardi B’s music video for “Rumors” the same year.
Throw something at Cardi B and she’ll throw something right back at you.
The lawsuit alleges that Davis was pressured to engage with a nude performer when Lizzo took the dancers to a strip club in Amsterdam, that she was weight-shamed over weight gain from mental health concerns, and that she was forced by Lizzo’s security detail to remain in a room to search her phone after she recorded Lizzo’s performance notes. Also, the lawsuit alleges that dancers were taken to a nude cabaret without their consent and that “full-figured women of color” were scolded for requesting downtime compensation at 50% of the weekly pay. Additionally, it states that Williams was fired from her job after denying to Lizzo that the dancers were drinking before performances and that Rodriguez was pressured by Quigley’s proselytizing, who had deemed her as a “non-believer”.
Throw in alleged berating from Lizzo and Quigley, racially biased taunts, disability discrimination, and a grueling 12-hour rehearsal where dancers could be cut on the spot, and this lawsuit continues to look even worse. Each dancer no longer works for Lizzo, with Davis and Williams being fired in 2021 and Rodriguez resigning the same year.
Fans of the chart-topping singer are in shock, to say the least, over the allegations and there’s plenty of chatter online about them.
Video got deleted, but this what im talking bout pic.twitter.com/Q3Ao1GM50E— kagome (@lotta_azzz) August 1, 2023
And while the lawsuit is leaving people in shambles, fans are reminding people to steer clear of fatphobia and racism within the discourse.
Additionally, another person associated with Lizzo called her out for creating a hostile working environment. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison discussed on social media about walking away from production on Lizzo’s 2019 documentary Love, Lizzo due to ill treatment from the entertainer.
“In 2019, I traveled a bit with Lizzo to be the director of her documentary. I walked away after about 2 weeks,” stated Allison in her post. “I was treated with such disrespect by her. I witnessed how arrogant, self-centered, and unkind she is.”
Interestingly enough Quigley has taken to social media to share a video highlighting her religious beliefs with the caption “God loves you so so so so much #neverforgetthat”, which for someone being accused of proselytizing to the performers, it’s not a good look.
While Quigley has shared her thoughts, Lizzo has not responded to the lawsuit. Fans are rightfully a mess over the situation, as the claims are antithetical to the platform that the entertainer has established through her body-positive, feel good, and celebratory music and performances.