KARACHI: It’s no secret that the media industry can be very unwelcoming. Whether it’s a singer or an actor, there is a certain mold they have to fit into: a certain dress size, a certain look and a certain appeal. However, despite the standards set, one star was able to breakthrough and serve as an inspiration for many and that was
Lizzo. Known for her songs such as ‘Good As Hell’ and ‘Tempo’, she became a symbol of body positivity. That is until earlier this week. News broke that allegations against Lizzo have been levied which include sexual harassment and body shaming.
As per the lawsuit which was filed on Tuesday, three dancers who were part of Lizzo’s tour group, accused the singer of sexual harassment and for creating a hostile work environment through racial, religious and sexual harassment on numerous occasions stemming between 2021 and 2023. Amongst the complaints, the dancers put forward the allegation that Lizzo criticized a dancer’s recent
weight gain. Other allegations included the fact that the tour’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, pushed her Christian beliefs upon other performers and berated those who had premarital sex while also simulating oral sex, sharing lewd sexual fantasies and discussing one performer’s virginity. While the lawsuit doesn’t name Lizzo directly, the dancers claim they believe that Lizzo was aware of the complaints against Quigley.
The lawyer for the dancers, Ron Zambrano issued a statement claiming, “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.”
Referring to an incident at an Amsterdam club earlier this year, where the dancers were forced to take “turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas,” the suit claims that the “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.”
Lizzo accusers speak out on being forced to do things they didn’t want to do #LizzoLawsuit #lizzo pic.twitter.com/ZA78qaUtUf
— Dontez (Black)Trump (@BlackTrump2020) August 2, 2023
Considering the gravity of the allegations against Lizzo, she took to social media to defend herself against what she called “sensationalized stories” and instead implied that it was the dancers who had a history of inappropriate behavior. She went on to talk about how, “I take my music and my performances seriously. With passion comes hard work and high standards. Sometimes I have to make decisions but it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team.”
In her statement Lizzo, talked about while she wouldn’t call herself a victim and she would not accept herself to be labelled as a villain, “I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days.” She also completely denied the body shaming allegations.