Pop star Lizzo is being sued by three of her former dancers over claims including sexual, religious and racial harassment, and that the singer created a hostile work environment.
Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez also allege disability discrimination, assault and false imprisonment against the ‘Juice' singer, who they say is guilty of body-shaming them, forcing them to undergo “excruciating” 12-hour auditions, and pressuring them to touch nude performers on a night out in Amsterdam.
Davis and Williams were eventually fired, while Rodriguez resigned from her role over their experiences, the lawsuit details.
The lawsuit reveals a list of allegations against the pop star and her team.
Lizzo, who is known for her stance on body positivity and self-love, is being accused of drawing attention to the weight gain of one dancer, and later firing them. The singer and her choreographer told Arianna Davis that she seemed “less committed to her role – a comment, they say, referred to her weight gain.
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Another allegation reveals that the dancers were subject to an “excruciating” 12-hour audition after being falsely accused of drinking before performances. According to the lawsuit, Williams lost her job days after challenging these accusations. While Davis, who was afraid of losing her job if she went to the bathroom, soiled her pants.
The lawsuit also alleges that Lizzo pressured one of the dancers to touch a nude performer in a nightclub in Amsterdam’s red-light district. “Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed,” representatives said in a statement.
While another allegation centers around white managers from Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. (BGBT), treating black employees differently to everyone else. “(They) often accused the Black members of the dance team of being lazy, unprofessional, and having bad attitudes," the lawsuit statement reads.
"Not only do these words ring familiar as tropes used to disparage and discourage Black women from advocating for themselves, but the same accusations were not levied against dancers who are not Black.
"Only the dance cast - comprised of full-figured women of color - were ever spoken to in this manner, giving Plaintiffs the impression that these comments were charged with racial and fat-phobic animus."
Lizzo and her team are yet to release a statement.