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Other Dancers Who Worked With Lizzo Defend Her Amid Lawsuit

Other Dancers Who Worked With Lizzo Defend Her Amid Lawsuit

Lizzo on stage with two backup dancers
Don Arnold/Getty Images

Lizzo is being accused of sexual harassment, but these dancers say they had “the time of their lives” on tour.

Lizzo’s Big Grrrls and Big Boiiis dance crew have issued a statement on social media praising the Grammy winner and defending her in light of the lawsuit filed by former dancers.

The “Juice” singer is being sued by three former dancers who are accusing Lizzo of sexual harassment, weight shaming and creating a hostile work environment, among other things.

In the lawsuit, filed on August 1, Arianna Davis, Noelle Rodriguez, and Crystal Williams allege that the 35-year-old singer pressured them into going to a live sex show in the red light district of Amsterdam while they were on tour and pressured the former dancers into taking “turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.”

They also accuse Lizzo of creating a hostile work environment and setting up an “excruciating” 12-hour reaudition that caused Davis to “soil herself” on stage because she said she didn’t feel like she could leave without “repercussions.”

On August 17 Lizzo’s current dance troupe, the Big Grrrls and Big Boiiis, took to Instagram to post a statement in support of the pop star saying they had “the time of their lives” while on the Lizzo’s Special Tour which ended last month.

“We have been so honored to share the stage with such amazing talent,” the statement continues. “The commitment to character and culture taking precedence over every movement and moment has been one of the Greatest lessons and Blessings that we could possibly ask for.”

The dancer went on to thank Lizzo for “shattering limitations and kicking in the door way for the Big Grrrl & Big Boiii Dancers to do what we love! Not only for us, but for women and all people breaking barriers… So grateful that the standards and existence of beauty in THIS team goes beyond the surface.”

The lawsuit levels serious allegations against not only the “About Damn Time” singer, but also her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring, and her dance captain Shirlene Quigley for false imprisonment, religious and racial harassment, interference with prospective economic advantage, fat-shaming, and disability discrimination.

“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 plaintiffs’ lawyer Ron Zambrano said in a statement.

On August 9 Zambrano said that six more dancers had come forward “with similar stories” that he is currently vetting to see which claims are actionable and which are not.

Lizzo on stage with three backup dancers

Don Arnold/GETTY IMAGES​

Two days after the lawsuit was filed, Lizzo issued a statement on Instagram saying that the allegations are “false” and “unbelievable,” and “too outrageous not to be addressed.”

“These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional,” Lizzo said in the statement.

She continued writing, “There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world, I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”

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Ariel Messman-Rucker

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.