Pop star Lizzo has been served with a lawsuit from three former dancers alleging sexual harassment and the creation of an aggressive work setting, according to NBC News. The legal action, scrutinized by Newsound, was lodged today in the Superior Court of Los Angeles. The suit also implicates Lizzo’s Big Grrrl Big Touring production company and dance captain Shirlene Quigley. The plaintiffs seek compensation for emotional distress including nonpayment of wages, lost income, and lawyer’s costs. Lizzo’s representatives and Quigley are yet to respond to Newsound’s request for comment.
The trio initiating the lawsuit started their association with Lizzo in 2021. Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams joined the team during the production of the Amazon reality show Watch Out for the Big Grrrls. Noelle Rodriguez was enlisted following her appearance in the 2021 “Rumors” music video.
The suit recounts an event from an Amsterdam afterparty earlier this year, where Lizzo is said to have coerced Davis into touching a naked performer’s breasts amidst mocking chants. The complaint also alleges Lizzo urged dancers to “catch dildos shot out from the performers’ vaginas and consume bananas emerging from the performers’ vaginas.”
The plaintiffs were appalled at Lizzo’s apparent indifference towards the personal boundaries of her employees and others in her vicinity, especially in the company of her employees, the lawsuit asserts. They also accused her of inviting them to a nude performance at a Paris cabaret bar under the guise of seeking “inspiration”, without forewarning them about the nudity.
Furthermore, Davis has accused the production company and Lizzo of discrimination based on disability. Davis claims that Lizzo made an indirect remark about her weight, insinuating she was “less committed” to her work following a SXSW performance. Davis alleges that Lizzo persistently pressured her to reveal the “personal issues” she was grappling with, leading Davis to disclose her struggle with anxiety, depression, and a diagnosis of binge eating disorder. According to the lawsuit:
In response to her revelation, Lizzo and choreographer Tanisha Scott casually suggested that Ms. Davis take a break from rehearsals to undergo therapy. This proposal seemed peculiar to Ms. Davis and left her with the impression that accepting the time off would make Lizzo and BGBT perceive her as too fragile to continue as part of the dance crew. Consequently, Ms. Davis refused the offer, believing it to be the only way to retain her job. This discussion occurred right before a show, and although Ms. Davis was hurt and emotionally exhausted from having to divulge her personal struggles to her employers, she still took the stage and performed that night.
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Who has filed a lawsuit against Lizzo and her production company?
Three former dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, have filed a lawsuit against Lizzo and her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring.
What are the charges mentioned in the lawsuit?
The lawsuit charges Lizzo with sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment, and disability discrimination.
Where and when was the lawsuit filed?
The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles on August 2, 2023.
What is the nature of the alleged sexual harassment?
The dancers allege that Lizzo pressured them into engaging in sexually explicit acts during a post-show afterparty in Amsterdam and at a Paris cabaret bar.
What disability discrimination does the lawsuit refer to?
Arianna Davis, one of the dancers, alleges that Lizzo and the production company discriminated against her due to her mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and binge eating disorder.
What are the dancers seeking from this lawsuit?
The dancers are seeking damages for emotional distress, including unpaid wages, loss of earnings, and attorney’s fees.
Have Lizzo or her representatives commented on the lawsuit yet?
As of the date of the article, Lizzo’s representatives and the dance captain named in the lawsuit, Shirlene Quigley, have not yet commented on the allegations.