Lizzo is facing a lawsuit from three former tour dancers who claim they were subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. The claims from the dancers list a large detail of complaints against the singer, her production company, and dance captain.
The new lawsuit brought against Lizzo was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez – have alleged sexual, religious, and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment.
Charges brought against Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. dance team captain Shirlene Quigley and Lizzo are not being taken lightly. One of the biggest details from this new report alleged that dancers were pressured to due a multitude of things in fear of losing their jobs including to touch nude dancers during a live sex show in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.
The lawsuit states the group went to a club called Bananenbar “where patrons are allowed to interact with completely nude performers.”
The dancers were encouraged to eat fruit from the performers genital areas and catch toys from those specific regions as well. In a statement on the matter, the lawsuit points out that the singer turned to dancer Ariana Davis and started “pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club.”
Davis declined, according to the suit, and Lizzo allegedly led a chant goading her to do so. After Davis declined three more times, the chant “grew louder and more strident, demanding a visibly uncomfortable Ms. Davis to engage with the performer.”
When Davis eventually acquiesced and briefly touched the performer, the group burst into laughter, the suit says. Afterward, Lizzo allegedly pressed a member of her security staff to get on stage and began yelling, “take it off,” according to the suit.
One lawsuit statement claims “How little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of those she employed.”
A week later, after a show in Paris, Lizzo invited her dancers to a club so “they would be able to learn something or be inspired by the performance,” the suit says. “What Lizzo failed to mention when inviting the dancers to this performance was that it was a nude cabaret bar.”
The plaintiffs allege Lizzo invited the entire dance team out without telling them they would be attending a nude cabaret bar “robbing them of the choice not to participate.”
In another instance, dance captain Quigly, who also doubled as a judge on Lizzo’s reality show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls”, was accused of pushing her Christian beliefs onto dancers. According to the suit, Quigly discovered that one of the dancers on the team was a virgin and routinely discussed the subject in interviews and posted personal details about the matter on social media.
The suit does not say if Lizzo knew about the allegations linked to the dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, but the plaintiffs believed the singer was aware of their complaints about her, according to their lawyer, Ron Zambrano.
“The stunning nature of 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 in a statement.
As far as other accusations toward Lizzo, one dancer was accused of not being committed to her role after gaining weight. Lizzo and the team claimed that the dancer went against everything she stands for publicly with the loaded allegation.
The lawsuit states, “Although Lizzo and Ms. Scott never explicitly stated it, these questions accompanied by Lizzo’s statements made after the South by Southwest music festival gave Ms. Davis the impression that she needed to explain her weight gain and disclose intimate personal details about her life in order to keep her job.”
In the suit, dancer Crystal Williams also details she was fired from the job when she spoke up at a meeting in which she challenged a claim from Lizzo stating that dancers were drinking before performances. Just the day before, Lizzo had also told the group they would have to reaudition again for the group. In a twelve hour rehearsal, dancer Ariana Davis soiled her pants due to fear she would lose her job if she took a break.
Crystal Williams claims she was fired just five days after the long rehearsal due to “budget cuts” but no one else was fired.
Ariana Davis later recorded a team meeting on her phone to take notes on dance routines, but this later made Lizzo “furious.”
“Lizzo became furious, hurling expletives at the group and stated that she was going to go around the room, person-by-person until someone told Lizzo who made the recording,” the suit says.
The singer and dance captain later berated Davis, to which she was fired on the spot.
Colleague Noelle Rodriguez’s stated she felt disrespected from the incident and wanted to resign. Lizzo allegedly raised both her middle fingers and yelled slurs as the dancers left.