Lizzo Faces Lawsuit as Former Tour Dancers Allege Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

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Pop star Lizzo is currently embroiled in a legal battle as three of her former dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, have filed a lawsuit against her, making serious allegations including sexual harassment, religious and racial harassment, discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles, accuses Lizzo of subjecting the dancers to a hostile work environment, claiming they were “forced to endure sexually denigrating behaviour” and were “pressured into participating in disturbing sex shows” between 2021 and 2023.

The accusations against Lizzo include claims that she pressured one of the dancers, Ms. Davis, to touch another performer’s breasts at a nightclub in Amsterdam. The lawsuit states that Ms. Davis eventually complied out of fear that refusing could jeopardize her position on the team.

Additionally, Lizzo and dance choreographer Tanisha Scott are accused of weight-shaming Ms. Davis during the tour. Allegedly, they questioned whether she was struggling with personal issues due to her perceived lack of commitment to her role on the dance cast. This allegedly made Ms. Davis feel the need to explain her weight gain and disclose personal details about her life to retain her job.

The lawsuit also implicates the dance team’s captain, Shirlene Quigley, in pushing her Christian beliefs on performers and deriding those who engaged in premarital sex. Quigley is accused of openly discussing one of the former dancers’ virginity and posting about it on social media.

The legal action further alleges racial discrimination by the production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc.’s management team. Black members of the dance troupe were allegedly treated differently from other team members, with accusations of being labeled as lazy, unprofessional, and having bad attitudes.

The plaintiffs also claim they were not fairly compensated during Lizzo’s European tour, receiving only 25% of their weekly pay during periods of non-performance while other performers received 50%. Additionally, they were allegedly prohibited from working on other projects while on tour.

The three dancers initially met Lizzo in March 2021 while preparing to compete on the reality TV show “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” and Ms. Rodriguez was hired later in May 2021 for Lizzo’s “Rumours” music video before becoming part of the dance troupe.

As the legal proceedings continue, Lizzo has not yet publicly responded to the allegations made against her and the others involved in the lawsuit. The case remains to be tested in court, and Lizzo’s reputation as an advocate for body positivity and self-love faces scrutiny amidst these serious allegations.

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