Thu. Sep 28th, 2023

Three former dancers for singer Lizzo have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Grammy award-winning musician, claiming they were subjected to a severely toxic work environment that included “debauchery” and racially biased taunts of being “lazy” and “snarky.” 

The singer’s company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, and dance team captain, Shirlene Quigley, were both named as defendants in the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. In their complaint, dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez also accuse Lizzo of disability discrimination, assault and false imprisonment.

“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,” the dancers’ lawyer, Ron Zambrano, said in a statement. 

Media representatives for Lizzo didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Davis, Williams and Rodriguez, who are all people of color, joined Lizzo’s dance team in 2021, according to the suit. During an international tour in Amsterdam earlier this year, Lizzo allegedly pressured the dancers into engaging with nude performers in the city’s red light district, the suit states. 

In their complaint, the dancers describe their former work environment as “overtly sexual” and hostile, claiming that allegedly abusive behavior by the singer contributed to their “emotional distress.”

Davis and Williams were fired and Rodriguez resigned from Lizzo’s dance team, Zambrano said. 

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