An uplifting and extraordinary encourager of girls and women to embrace their bodies, be it thick or thin, is accused of sexual, religious, and racial harassment and creating a hostile work environment along with her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. (BGBT). The lawsuit also accuses Shirlene Quigley, Lizzo’s dance captain
According to NBC News, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriquez, backup dancers for Lizzo, accused her of forcing one of the plaintiffs to touch a nude performer at a strip club in Amsterdam and subjected the dancers to an “excruciating” audition after accusing them of drinking on the job and shaming another dancer for her weight gain. The suit also states that
Lizzo fired a dancer after she recorded a meeting due to a health condition. The dancers also claim that Black dancers were treated differently and accused of being “lazy, unprofessional, and having bad attitudes.”
The accusations shocked a country that is hard to shake after watching Lizzo champion all shapes and sizes and boldly challenge a culture with a well-known, in-trenched affinity for thinness. To believe that Lizzo would body shame or harass anyone is a shake-your-head, say it’s not true moment.
On August 3rd, two days after the lawsuit, Lizzo issued a statement on Instagram lamenting how difficult the last two days had been for her.
“My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. Usually, I choose not to respond to false allegations, but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous not to be addressed.”
In her statement, Lizzo said she “would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight. I’m hurt, but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”
These allegations have caused others to come forth and speak about their experiences with Lizzo. Documentarian Sophia Nahli Allison left a project featuring Lizzo after a mere two weeks, writing:
“I was treated with such disrespect by her. I witnessed how arrogant and unkind she was. I was not protected and was thrown into a shitty situation with little support. My spirit said to run as fast as you f*****g can, and I’m so grateful I trusted my gut. I felt gaslit and was deeply hurt, but I’ve healed,” Allison wrote.
Former dancer Rodriguez discussed the reasons she is participating in the lawsuit against Lizzo in a recent interview:
“I think our biggest reason in coming forward with this is to just kind of give people a voice and let them know you can stand up for yourself and speak out, no matter the caliber of artist or status that the person may have that you’re speaking out against,” Rodriguez said.
Fact or fiction, these allegations are against a woman who once exposed her thong at the Crypto.com Arena, home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, to the crowd’s amazement. The clip went viral, generating a barrage of fat-shaming messages. But Lizzo defiantly answered those critics, writing:
“Never ever let somebody stop you or shame you from being yourself, “she wrote. “Your criticism has no effect on me.”