Thursday, September 21, 2023

Lizzo: Dancers were weight-shamed and pressured while at strip club

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and provided to NBC News by the plaintiffs’ law firm, also accuses the captain of Lizzo’s dance team of proselytizing to other performers and deriding those who had premarital sex while sharing lewd sexual fantasies, simulating oral sex and publicly discussing the virginity of one of the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis and Noelle Rodriguez—who worked for Lizzo’s touring company Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc.—claim Lizzo pressured a former dancer to engage with nude performers at a club in Amsterdam, and in another instance, shamed Davis for her weight gain before firing her (Forbes has reached out to Lizzo’s management company.

Three of Lizzo’s former dancers have filed a lawsuit against the singer, accusing her of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment stemming from incidents that allegedly took place beginning in 2021 and through 2023. The accusations follow the plaintiffs’ participation in a reality TV show contest for the opportunity to join Lizzo as one of her dancers during performances and on tour.

Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas,” the lawsuit claims. “Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club.

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,” Zambrano said.

The lawsuit, independently viewed by Variety, was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Lizzo (real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson), her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. (BGBT), and Shirlene Quigley, captain of Lizzo’s dance team.

The dancers’ legal team alleges the incidents date back to 2021 when Davis and Williams met Lizzo for her reality TV show “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.” The reality show chronicled the journeys of dancers competing for a chance to join Lizzo’s live performances. Rodriguez was hired in May 2021 as part of the dance team featured in the music video for the hit Rumors.