Lizzo's former dancers sue singer for sexual harassment, fatphobia and creating a "hostile work environment"

Three women from her dance troupe denounced her after the singer forced them to participate in two shows with sexual content.

Singer Lizzo is in serious legal trouble. Three women from her corps de ballet denounced her Tuesday for sexual harassment, fatphobia and creating a "hostile work environment."

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, also accuses Lizzo's head choreographer, Shirlene Quigley and the the artist's production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. (BGBT) of various sexual harassment offenses and of creating a hostile work environment.

Among the crimes Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, is charged with are religious and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault and false imprisonment, among many others.

Sexual harassment, the most serious charge Lizzo faces

However, what has drawn attention has been the sexual harassment lawsuit that Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez claimed to have suffered while working for Lizzo. They, in the writing to which NBC had access, tell almost to the millimeter what happened in a sex club in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, where the singer forced them to touch several naked artists:

The main event of the evening was at a club called Bananenbar, where patrons can interact with fully nude performers. While at Bananenbar, things quickly spiraled out of control. Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the naked performers, catching dildos thrown from the performers' [intimate parts] and eating bananas sticking out of the performers' [intimate parts]. Lizzo began pressuring Davis to touch the breasts of one of the naked women performing at the club. She refused. Lizzo began to lead a chant prompting Davis. Davis said three times, loud enough for everyone to hear, 'I'm fine,' expressing his desire not to touch the artist.

This was not the only sexual encounter in which the dancers ended up involved after being forced by Lizzo. The lawsuit also details how a few weeks later the singer forced her dance troupe to go to a club in Paris to learn new choreography. What she never warned them, the plaintiffs claim, was the type of club they were targeting: "What Lizzo failed to mention when inviting the dancers to this performance was that it was a nudist cabaret bar," they explained stating that after finding out they were "surprised that Lizzo hid the nature of the event from them, robbing them of the option not to participate".

Religious harassment

Davis was the most affected by Lizzo's comments. As the lawsuit explains, both the singer and Quigley repeatedly picked on her, not only forcing her to participate in sexual performances, but also harassing her for her religious beliefs.

In fact, the lawsuit claims, Quigley brought up the topic of virginity several times on the show Davis was on and, after learning that the dancer was one, "took advantage of every opportunity to proselytize everyone in his presence. regardless of the protests."


They also picked on the dancer for her weight. Just after Arianna Davis gained weight, details lawsuit obtained access to Variety the singer blamed her for not being committed enough to her work:

In professional dance, a dancer's weight gain is often seen as that dancer becoming lazy or worse as a performer. Lizzo and [la coreógrafa Tanisha] Scott's questions about Davis' commitment to the tour were thinly veiled concerns about Davis' weight gain, which Lizzo had previously brought to her attention after noticing it at the South by Southwest music festival. Although Lizzo and Scott never explicitly stated it, these questions accompanied by Lizzo's statements made after the South by Southwest music festival gave Davis the impression that he needed to explain his weight gain and reveal intimate personal details about his life in order to keep his job.

In May, Lizzo fired Davis for recording a rehearsal. Shortly thereafter, Williams also lost her job and Rodriguez, fed up with the situation, decided to resign in solidarity with her two colleagues.

Lizzo's practices, the three dancers' attorney said in a statement, go against everything she stands for. This was the reason why the affected parties finally decided to file the lawsuit:

The stunning nature of how Lizzo and his management team treated his artists seems to fly in the face of everything Lizzo stands for publicly, while privately shaming his dancers and demeaning them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing.