Lizzo sued by former dancers over sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims

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Lizzo and her team are accused of shocking incidents in a new lawsuit. Pic credit: @lizzobeeating/Instagram

Lizzo and her production company are facing legal action after three former dancers accused them of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Lizzo (real name Melissa Viviane Jefferson) and her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, INC (BGBT), as well as Shirlene Quigly, the captain of Lizzo’s dance team.

The dancers, plaintiffs Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, allege sexual, religious, and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment, among other charges.

The lawsuit details several alleged events, including an incident in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

Former Lizzo dancers allege incident in Amsterdam’s Red Light District

According to the suit, the dancers claim they were pressured to touch nude dancers during a live sex show in Amsterdam’s Red Light District, and if they didn’t, they were afraid they would lose their jobs.

Amsterdam’s Red Light District is known for its sex work, sex theaters, nude bars, and clubs.

The details in the lawsuit are sexually explicit and may be uncomfortable for certain audiences to read.

“The main event of the night was a club called Bananenbar, where patrons are allowed to interact with completely nude performers,” the lawsuit states.

“While at Bananenbar, things quickly got out of hand. Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.

“Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club.

“Lizzo began leading a chant goading Ms. Davis. Ms. Davis said three times, loud enough for all to hear, ‘I’m good,’ expressing her desire not to touch the performer.”

The complaint continues, “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.”

At this time, neither Lizzo nor her production team has responded to the allegations.

The dancers were allegedly invited out once more without being told they were going to a nude cabaret bar, “robbing them of the choice not to participate.”

Lizzo and her team are accused of shaming dancer after gaining weight

Another claim alleges that one dancer was called out for gaining weight and not being committed to her role as a dancer.

Lizzo is known as an icon in the body positivity movement and has her own clothing line that caters to plus sizes.

“In professional dance, a dancer’s weight gain is often seen as that dancer getting lazy or worse off as a performer. Lizzo’s and Ms. Scott’s questions about Ms. Davis’s commitment to the tour were thinly veiled concerns about Ms. Davis’s weight gain, which Lizzo had previously called attention to after noticing it at the South by Southwest music festival,” 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.”

Davis was reportedly fired for recording a meeting where Lizzo gave out notes to dancers about their performances.

Meanwhile, Williams was said to have been publicly fired due to budget cuts but claims that no one else was fired that day. Williams says that before she was fired, she spoke up during a meeting where the dancers were accused of drinking before performances.

Being publicly fired was alleged to be a frequent intimidation tactic used against the dancers. Rodriguez is claimed to have resigned as a result of the firings, but not before complaining to the manager about the decision to fire Williams publicly.

Lizzo’s dance captain accused of pushing her religious beliefs onto dancers

The suit also alleges that dance captain Shirlene Quigly pushed her Christian beliefs onto the dancers.

According to the claims, after she found out that Davis was a virgin that information was brought up in interviews and posted on social media.

It’s also alleged that Quigley called Davis a “non-believer” and is quoted to have said, “No job and no one will stop me from talking about the Lord.”

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