Lizzo, the four-time Grammy Award-winning pop star, is facing a lawsuit from three of her former stage dancers. The dancers have accused Lizzo of subjecting them to sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment, and engaging in various forms of discrimination. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges violations of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act. Let's take a closer look at the key facts and allegations brought forward in the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs, Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez, who worked for Lizzo's touring company Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc., claim that Lizzo pressured a former dancer to engage with nude performers at a club in Amsterdam. Additionally, Lizzo allegedly shamed Davis for her weight gain before ultimately firing her. The lawsuit also states that Lizzo intended to cause offensive bodily contact to Rodriguez after she questioned the firing of Davis. These actions are said to have created a hostile work environment for the dancers.
The lawsuit further alleges that Lizzo's dance team captain, Shirlene Quigley, engaged in religious harassment. Quigley is accused of berating dancers for engaging in premarital sex, proselytizing about her religion, and discussing one dancer's virginity in public interviews and on social media. The plaintiffs claim that Quigley violated state religious harassment laws.
The lawsuit also brings attention to Lizzo's reality television show, "Watch Out for the Big Grrrls." The contestants of the show were allegedly exposed to an overtly sexual atmosphere that permeated their workplace. They were also reportedly pressured to participate in a nude photoshoot. These allegations raise concerns about the treatment and expectations placed on the dancers during their employment with Lizzo.
The lawsuit does not specify whether Lizzo was aware of the allegations against her dance captain or the specific incidents described. However, the plaintiffs believe that Lizzo knew about the complaints against her. The contradiction between Lizzo's public image as a vocal champion of body positivity and the allegations made in the lawsuit raises questions about the authenticity of her messages of self-love and empowerment.
The three plaintiffs are seeking a trial by jury to hold Lizzo and her management team accountable for their alleged actions. According to the plaintiffs' attorney, Ron Zambrano, the dancers have suffered severe emotional distress, anxiety, physical injuries, and other damages as a result of the alleged harassment and discrimination. The lawsuit aims to shed light on the mistreatment they claim to have endured while working for Lizzo.
Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, gained national recognition with the release of her album "Juice" in 2019, which included the hit song "Truth Hurts." She has been celebrated for her eclectic style, blending rap, R&B, pop, and her unique talent as a flutist. Lizzo's success in the music industry has earned her multiple Grammy nominations and awards.
The lawsuit comes at a time when Lizzo's latest release, "Pink (Bad Day)," has recently dropped. The song was featured in the blockbuster film "Barbie," directed by Greta Gerwig. The film has been a box office success, grossing over $780 million worldwide. Lizzo's ongoing legal battle may have an impact on her public image and career trajectory.