Listen to this article here
In the latest Lizzo lawsuit, the Grammy-winning songstress allegedly facilitated a “hostile, sexually and racially charged” work environment.
The suit was brought by Asha Daniels, a wardrobe designer who worked on Lizzo’s 2023 tour.
The suit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, was brought the same day that Lizzo is set to receive the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award from the Black Music Action Coalition, according to Deadline.
It names Melissa Jefferson, professionally known as Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc. (BGBT), her wardrobe manager Amanda Nomura and her tour manager Carlina Gugliotta.
In the suit (read it here), Daniels alleges racial and sexual harassment, disability discrimination, illegal retaliatory termination and assault, among other things.
Lizzo lawsuit is without merit, according to spokesperson
Lizzo spokesman Stefan Friedman provided the following statement to Deadline in response to the latest lawsuit:
“As Lizzo receives a Humanitarian Award tonight from the Black Music Action Coalition for the incredible charitable work she has done to lift up all people, an ambulance-chasing lawyer tries to sully this honor by recruiting someone to file a bogus, absurd publicity-stunt lawsuit who, wait for it, never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo. We will pay this as much attention as it deserves. None.”
Thursday’s lawsuit follows a similar lawsuit filed in August by three of Lizzo’s former touring dancers.
In that suit, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez allege that they were body-shamed.
The women were put through a self-described “excruciating” audition for their own jobs. They were also allegedly accused of drinking on the clock and held to prohibitive “soft hold” retainers.
“Lewd acts, sex shows, hard drugs”
“There was a group chat of over 30+ people from the BGBT team, which included Lizzo tour management and Plaintiff.”
“In the group message, a backstage manager sent a photo graphically depicting male genitalia,” according to the suit.
When Lizzo’s tour arrived in Amsterdam, Daniels claims she saw Nomura and other supervisors “discussing hiring sex workers for lewd acts, attending sex shows, and buying hard drugs.” She alleges she was pressured to join and that Lizzo and her management team were aware of the conduct.
Lawsuit claims verbal threats were made
The complaint continues: “On several occasions, NOMURA made statements and/or took physical actions to threaten Plaintiff and the entire crew.
: (1) she threatened Plaintiff and others that she would ‘kill a bitch’ and ‘stab a bitch’ when she could not find her medication. (2) she shoved a crew member in retaliation for revealing she was threatening to quit. (3) NOMURA snatched food out of a local worker’s hand for merely attempting to take an assigned break. (4) she expressed that she would ‘kill a bitch if it came down to it’ if anyone threatened her job.”
Moreover, Daniels alleges she was denied breaks by Nomura and pressured to work on her designated days off.
Lizzo lawsuit alleges denial of medical treatment
Additionally, the Lizzo lawsuit details one instance in which Daniels alleges Nomura rolled a heavy rack of clothing over her foot.
When she told Nomura she was in severe pain and needed to sit down, she alleges a confrontation ensued. Nomura shoved her “into the rack of clothing. She later asserted the Plaintiff should not make excuses about her foot and must help NOMURA transport the clothing.”
After Daniels switched into orthopedic shoes because of the injury, Daniels alleges Nomura forced her to switch back into tennis shoes.
“Not only was Plaintiff denied medical treatment (on this occasion and others) but was also forced to be on her feet the majority of the day and denied any rest – even after rolling her ankle,” the complaint states.
Black dancers “mocked, objectified” during tour
Daniels complained in February of “widespread racial and sexual harassment” in which “Black dancers were being mocked, objectified, and denied accommodations” to tour manager Gugliotta, according to the complaint. “The toxic work environment continued without change” and Daniels was ultimately fired, the suit claims.
In the lawsuit, Daniels alleges she “suffered constant anxiety and panic attacks during the tour from the racist and sexualized environments; she continues to suffer ongoing anxiety and PTSD after the tour; and she suffers from migraines and migraine-induced eye twitch and ocular distortions, brain fog, and fatigue.”
The suit seeks unspecified damages.