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Lizzo 2023.jpg

Messy Allegations Against Lizzo Are Made Public

By Jen Maravegias | Celebrity | August 1, 2023 |

By Jen Maravegias | Celebrity | August 1, 2023 |


Lizzo 2023.jpg

As hard as we might try to maintain a strict policy of not turning celebrities into heroes and keeping them off of pedestals, occasionally fate serves us someone who seems like a hero deserving of it, until we are cruelly reminded of why we put that policy in place. Such is the case with Lizzo.

*Insert heavy, disappointed sigh here.*

We’ve been big fans of Lizzo for a long time here at Pajiba so the accusations made public today by three of her former dancers are shocking. It’s hard to be surprised by any abusive power trip a celebrity goes on these days. But the allegations, in this case, are especially messy given Lizzo’s emphatic support of body positivity and autonomy over the course of her career. It’s basically her brand, and the suit — filed in Los Angeles Superior Court — flies in the face of everything she’s built.

According to NBC News three former dancers, two of whom were hired as part of Lizzo’s 2022 reality show, have accused the performer, and her dance captain Shirlene Quigley, of sexual harassment, creating a hostile work environment, religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, and interference with prospective economic advantage, among other charges.

Yikes.

The suit details how Lizzo, and her team, made fatphobic and racist remarks to performers. It accuses Shirlene Quigley of “proselytizing” to the performers and harassing people for not adhering to her religious beliefs. Charges against Quigley also include discussing the virginity of one of the plaintiffs in public interviews and pressuring another, whom she labeled a “non-believer,” about her faith.

Perhaps the most unpalatable of all the other charges against the performer herself is the story about an after-party at an Amsterdam strip club where Lizzo pressured members of her team to “take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas.”

Also mentioned in the suit is a later incident that took place in Paris where Lizzo is accused of tricking her dancers into attending a performance in a nude cabaret bar.

Hearing all of this about someone who spends so much energy convincing her fans to recognize their own power and love their bodies is disappointing at the least. It feels like the general of our army has picked up the enemy’s weapons and attacked us with them! It’s a betrayal of what we thought were her principles and the values she espoused in every song and at every tour stop. With all of the harassment and bullying that Lizzo has survived and spoken out against, it is especially important to listen to the victims here. And make sure that Lizzo is held accountable for not only participating in this reported behavior but fostering an environment where it was encouraged.

If the cycle of Bad News About Celebrities You Love continues apace for Lizzo, we may be on the cusp of learning more information that paints her in a bad light. Take a deep breath now, I guess.

Regardless of what we learn or how disappointed we are, one thing we aren’t going to do is resort to ad hominem attacks against Lizzo that involve her body, or the bodies of her performers.