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Lizzo Sued by Former Tour Employee Over Working Conditions

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Lizzo Sued by Former Tour Employee Over Working Conditions

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Lizzo’s legal woes continue. Asha Daniels, who says she worked in Lizzo’s wardrobe department on tour this year, alleges in a new lawsuit that she was sometimes refused breaks during 20-hour shifts, and that she heard racist and fatphobic comments from members of Lizzo’s team, TMZ reports. She says Amanda Nomura, a member of Lizzo’s team, called Black women on the tour “dumb,” “useless,” and “fat,” according to the lawsuit. The complaint follows a lawsuit that three other dancers filed at the start of August, alleging they were sexually harassed and weight-shamed. Pitchfork has emailed Daniels’ lawyer for further details.

In the lawsuit, Daniels claims Nomura rolled a clothing rack over her ankle, and that she was later reprimanded for wearing Crocs to ease the swelling. She says she raised the issue with Lizzo’s tour manager, Carlina Gugliotta, who advised her to get video evidence, but that she felt that would be unethical. She also says she wasn’t allowed to wear sexy clothing around Lizzo, claiming Lizzo did not want her boyfriend to be around other beautiful women. Daniels says she was eventually fired, leading to ongoing anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, migraines, ocular distortions, brain fog, and fatigue.

When reached by Pitchfork, a Lizzo spokesman, Stefan Friedman, stated:

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.

In the previous lawsuit, filed back in August, Lizzo, her Big Grrl Big Touring production company, and her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, were named as defendants. (Asha Daniels is represented by Neama Rahmani, the lawyer who represents the original plaintiffs.) It cites instances of racial discrimination and disability discrimination, along with an incident in Amsterdam where Lizzo allegedly pressured a dancer into touching a nude performer’s breasts. On the same occasion, Lizzo allegedly urged dancers to “catch dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas and eat bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.”

In response to the original lawsuit, Lizzo said the “false allegations” were “as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.” She added, in part, “Sometimes I have to make hard 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. I am not here to be looked at as a victim, but I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be be these last few days.”

In response to that statement, the original three plaintiffs—Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez—reiterated and elaborated on their claims to CNN. “It took me until actually leaving the camp that I figured out that everything that went on was bad, because I just chalked it up to, you know, oh, Lizzo might be a diva, or this is just the industry, this is what we go through,” Davis said. She added that it was “disheartening” and “incredibly frustrating” for Lizzo to deny, and try to discredit, their claims.

In late August, it emerged that 14 Lizzo dancers had settled a separate lawsuit earlier this year. The dancers, who had appeared in the 2022 documentary Love, Lizzo, raised a dispute involving payment for their appearance. A group including a “Lizzo entity” and co-production company Boardwalk Pictures settled the claim in February for $109,551.

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