(Trigger Warning: This story contains mentions of sexual harassment.)
Singer-songwriter Lizzo has been accused of sexual harassment and weight-shaming in a lawsuit filed by three of her former backup dancers. Further allegations, in the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, levelled against her and her production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc, stated that she created a hostile work environment through sexual, racial, and religious harassment, per a report by The Guardian.
The dancers claimed that Lizzo, who is an advocate for body positivity, criticised a dancer's recent weight gain and then berated her. The dancer was reportedly then fired for allegedly recording a meeting.
In continuation of the report, the suit alleged that Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, pushed her religious beliefs upon other performers.
The lawsuit stated, "Ms Quigley was not only vocal about her religious belief but took every opportunity to proselytize to any and all in her presence regardless of protestations."
Moreover, according to the lawsuit Lizzo allegedly pressured one dancer to touch a nude performer at a club in Amsterdam and also subjected several dancers to an 'excruciating' 12-hour audition after making false accusations that they drank while working.
The lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court named Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc and the dance captain, Shirlene Quigley.
The complaints were filed by plaintiffs Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez.
The plaintiffs' attorney, Ron Zambrano said in a statement:
“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 incidents allegedly occurred between 2021 and 2023.
Lizzo hasn't responded to the accusations yet. This copy will be updated as and when a statement is released.