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Former backup dancers sue Lizzo with accusations of toxic workplace and harassment

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In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, three former dancers for singer Lizzo have accused her of sexual harassment and creating a hostile workplace.

The plaintiffs include Arianna Davis, and Crystal Williams who began performing with Lizzo after competing on her reality show “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” in 2021. The third plaintiff, Noelle Rodriguez, was hired in 2021 after performing in a Lizzo music video. Davis and Williams were fired and Rodriguez resigned earlier this year.

Lizzo, who is known for embracing body positivity, is accused of berating a dancer for her weight gain, then later firing the dancer for recording a meeting due to a health condition. According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, other allegations include one of the dancers accusing Lizzo of pressuring her to touch a nude performer at an Amsterdam club, and the dancers claiming that the captain of Rizzo’s dance group, Shirlene Quigley, preached her religious beliefs constantly. In addition to Lizzo and Quigley, the suit names the singer’s production company as a defendant. The accusations include instances of sexual harassment, racial and religious harassment, false imprisonment, and interference with potential economic advantage.

The plaintiffs’ attorney Ron Zambrano said: “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.” A dollar amount for damages covering emotional distress, unpaid wages and legal fees for the plaintiffs was not specified within the lawsuit filing.

Editorial credit: Adam McCullough /

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