Body Positivity Icon to Allegations: Lizzo’s Lawsuit


Behind the Headlines: Lizzo's Lawsuit and the Media's Impact on Famous Women. Image: Facebook/Lizzo

Lizzo Faces Allegations of Harassment and Hostile Work Environment

LIZZO, the popular singer known for her empowering music and body-positive messages, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, is facing serious allegations from three of her former dancers. The dancers have accused her, her production company, and her employees of sexual harassment, religious and racial harassment, and creating a hostile work environment. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, has shed light on disturbing incidents that allegedly occurred during their time with Lizzo’s production company.

Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Allegations

According to the lawsuit filed by Lizzo’s former dancers, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, they faced troubling incidents during their time working with the pop star. The dancers claim that Lizzo pressured one of them to touch a nude performer at a club in Amsterdam, creating an uncomfortable and distressing situation. The suit also accuses Lizzo of weight-shaming one of the dancers, Arianna Davis, following an appearance at a music festival. These allegations are receiving the most attention due to her body-positivity stance and it is important to point out that the lawsuit states Lizzo pressed Davis for an ‘explanation why she seemed less bubbly and vivacious than she did prior to the tour starting,’ the dancer states these comments were ‘thinly veiled concerns about [her] weight gain, which Lizzo had previously called attention to after noticing it at the South by Southwest music festival.’

Furthermore, the dancers allege that Lizzo subjected them to an ‘excruciating’ audition after accusations of drinking on the job. The suit highlights instances of public humiliation and berating by Lizzo, which led to the firing of one of the dancers, Arianna Davis. These allegations are particularly disconcerting, given Lizzo’s public persona of promoting body positivity and embracing her physique.

Religious and Racial Harassment Claims

In addition to the sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims, the lawsuit includes accusations of religious and racial harassment. The dancers allege that the dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, who also appeared as a judge on Lizzo’s reality show, repeatedly imposed her Christian beliefs on the performers despite protestations. Moreover, Quigley allegedly discussed personal matters about the dancers, including the virginity of one of the plaintiffs, in interviews and on social media without their consent.

The dancers also claim that they were spoken to disrespectfully by touring company employees, with only the full-figured women of colour in the dance cast subjected to such treatment. These allegations raise concerns about the overall work environment within Lizzo’s production company and call into question the authenticity of her proclaimed inclusivity and respect for diversity.

Lizzo’s Response and the Aftermath

As of now, Lizzo and her representatives have not yet responded to the allegations or the lawsuit. Lizzo has posted on social media but has not commented on the lawsuit. The lack of an official statement from the singer has left fans and the public in suspense,  awaiting her response to these serious claims. While the legal proceedings are ongoing, the lawsuit has undoubtedly affected Lizzo’s image and reputation, especially considering the stark contrast between the allegations and her public persona as an advocate for self-acceptance and empowerment.

Social media reaction to the lawsuit

Amid the news of the lawsuit, social media has become a battleground of opinions and emotions. Hate and vitriol have erupted against Lizzo, with many individuals seemingly quick to believe the allegations without waiting for any official statement or for the case to be heard in court. This rush to judgment is a reminder of the pitfalls of the social media era, where information can spread rapidly and assumptions can be formed without the benefit of all the facts.

While it is essential to create a safe space for survivors of harassment to come forward, it is equally crucial to remember the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and allow for a fair and impartial legal process to take place. Jumping to conclusions without a thorough examination of the evidence can lead to unjust consequences for all parties involved and further fuel an already tense situation. As the lawsuit progresses, it is essential for the public to maintain a balanced perspective and allow the truth to come to light through the appropriate channels.

The issue of women being destroyed by the press after facing allegations is a concerning and complex one. In recent years, there have been numerous cases where women in the public eye have been subject to intense scrutiny, character assassination, and vilification following accusations made against them. This phenomenon is often referred to as ‘trial by media.’

One of the primary challenges in these situations is the balance between freedom of the press and the right to privacy. When allegations are made against public figures, particularly women, we can be quick to sensationalise and exploit the situation. As a result, these individuals can find themselves subjected to a barrage of negative publicity, which can have devastating effects on their personal and professional lives.

Caroline Flack‘s tragic story stands as a stark reminder of how we can turn on a famous woman, leading to the destruction of her reputation and mental well-being. As a beloved TV presenter, Flack faced a storm of negative publicity after allegations of assaulting her boyfriend emerged. The media seized the opportunity to shame and scrutinise the young star relentlessly, turning her life into a constant battleground for intrusive coverage. Her emotional state suffered under the weight of public scrutiny, and she openly shared her vulnerability on social media.

Despite the frenzy surrounding her, it wasn’t until her untimely suicide in the weeks that followed that compassion and kindness were extended by the same press that had devoured the articles fuelling her distress. Caroline Flack’s tragic fate serves as a poignant example of the damaging impact media sensationalism can have on the lives of famous women, urging us to reflect on the importance of responsible reporting and empathy in the face of adversity.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!


    • Joseph

      02 August 2023 • 15:23

      Very good article and very written also 👏

      • Anne

        02 August 2023 • 19:19

        👋👋👋👋Great read very interesting

    • Grace Lynch

      02 August 2023 • 17:31

      Great article well done Catherine 🙌

    • Terry

      02 August 2023 • 17:39

      Great article

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