Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, expressed her usual reluctance to respond to false allegations, but she deems these accusations too outrageous to ignore.
US pop star Lizzo vehemently refutes the claims made by three ex-dancers, accusing her of sexual harassment and fostering a hostile work environment. The singer has called the recent days “gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing.”
The former dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, claim they faced religious and racial harassment during their time with Lizzo’s team. Davis and Williams were fired from the dance group, while Rodriguez resigned due to the alleged treatment of her colleagues.
In an interview with CBS, Williams stated that her primary concern is to protect other dancers from experiencing similar mistreatment while working with Lizzo.
The lawsuit alleges that the dancers were pressured into attending sex shows and interacting with performers at those shows between 2021 and 2023.
The claims against Lizzo include an incident where she allegedly pressured Davis to touch the breasts of a performer in a nightclub in Amsterdam. Davis resisted but eventually acquiesced, fearing repercussions for her position on the team if she didn’t comply.
In response to the allegations, Lizzo spoke out, asserting that her work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been called into question. As an artist, she is passionate about her music and performances, striving to deliver the best art for herself and her fans. While she acknowledges making difficult decisions, she maintains that it is never her intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or undervalued.
Lizzo refuses to be portrayed as a victim, stating that she is not the villain the media has depicted her to be. She is open about her sexuality and expression but will not accept being misrepresented based on her openness.
The case also implicates Lizzo and dance choreographer Tanisha Scott for allegedly fat-shaming Davis on tour. The lawsuit claims that their comments about Davis’s commitment to the tour were thinly veiled concerns about her weight gain.
Additionally, the lawsuit accuses BGBT staff of scolding dancers for unacceptable behavior without specifying the nature of the alleged misconduct. The plaintiffs believe that only the full-figured women of color in the dance cast received such treatment, suggesting racial and fat-phobic animus behind the comments.
The dance team’s captain, Shirlene Quigley, faces accusations of imposing her Christian beliefs on performers and deriding those who engaged in premarital sex. She is also alleged to have openly discussed a former dancer’s virginity and posted about it on social media.
The lawsuit includes claims of racial discrimination against BGBT’s management team, asserting that black members of the dance troupe were treated differently from others.
Both Quigley and Scott have been contacted by the BBC for comment on the allegations.
Moreover, the plaintiffs claim that Lizzo and the production company did not fairly compensate them during parts of Lizzo’s European tour.
As the legal battle unfolds, Lizzo remains determined to uphold her reputation and the work she has done for her fans and the world. The case sheds light on serious allegations and raises awareness about the treatment of performers in the entertainment industry.