Lizzo has come under fire as several of her dancers have filed a lawsuit against her for sexual harassment, creating a hostile environment and unfair dismissal.
Three dancers filed a lawsuit this week against the Grammy-award-winning singer claiming that she sexually harassed them, and her production company made their work life difficult and eventually fired them for speaking up, NBC News reported. Some of the claims were dire, with details outlining an incident at Amsterdam’s Red Light District where she not only fat-shamed and fired one of her dancers but she also pressured another to eat a banana stuck in the vagina of a stripper.
The dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez are the plaintiffs, and they allege that the singer caused them to suffer sexual, religious, and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment.
Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has not reacted to the lawsuit, but her lyrics from a song has since gone viral where she talks about being sued by her former dancers.
Along with Lizzo, the other named defendants are her company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and Shirlene Quigley, captain of her performer’s dance team.
The lawsuit claims that Lizzo and her dancers attended an open sexual show in the Red Light District after an event Lizzo and her dancers performed at in Amsterdam. They were allowed to touch the dancers, but Lizzo took it a step further when she insisted that her dancers touched the nude performers.
Plaintiff Davis was forced to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing after Lizzo started a chant pressuring her to do so.
“Finally, the chorus became overwhelming, and a mortified Ms. Davis acquiesced in an attempt to bring an end to the chants. 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,” the lawsuit wrote.
The lawsuit claims that Davis was fat-shamed by Lizzo, who herself has shared her struggles with body positivity. She eventually fired Davis for recording a meeting where she was criticizing her dancers.
The lawsuit also claims that Quigley caused the work environment to be hostile and imposed her Christian views on her, where she called Davis a “non-believer” and embarrassed her on several occasions after learning that she was a virgin. Quigley reportedly mentioned it in interviews and on social media, causing her embarrassment.
The plaintiffs began working for Lizzo after they competed in her Amazon dance show, “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.” The detailed lawsuit also claimed that she invited them to a nude Cabaret bar in Paris but did not tell them about the nature of the event.
In other instances, Davis alleges that the singer and touring company’s employment practices were so cruel that one time Davis soiled her pants over a 12-hour rehearsal because she feared she’d lose her job.
The plaintiffs are suing for unpaid wages, loss of earnings, and attorney’s costs.
In the meantime, other dancers not named in the lawsuit have come forward, claiming that the accusations are true.
Dancer Quinn Wilson agreed with a post by the Instagram handle CQuest, who wrote, “…this was very much my experience in my time there. Big shoutout to the dancers who had the courage to bring this to light.”
Wilson wrote, “I haven’t been apart of that world for around three years, for a reason… I grieve parts of my own experience,” she wrote.