Lizzo is being sued by three of her former dancers for sexual harassment and creating a toxic work environment.
The lawsuit alleges sexual, religious, and racial harassment, discrimination, assault, and wrongful imprisonment.
The musician is also accused of fat-shaming and forcing a dancer to touch the breasts of a performance.
Lizzo and the other suspects have been contacted for comment.
The artist has yet to reply publicly to the charges made in the lawsuit, which are still being investigated in court.
Former dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez filed the lawsuit against the singer, her dance captain, and her production firm Big Grrrl Big Touring (BGBT).
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, alleges that between 2021 and 2023, the dancers were “forced to endure sexually demeaning behaviour” and “pressured into participating in disturbing sex shows.”
Among the allegations levelled against Lizzo, whose actual name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, are that she “pressured Ms Davis to touch the breasts” of a performer in an Amsterdam nightclub, and that Ms Davis eventually acquiesced “fearing it would harm her future on the team” if she didn’t.
Lizzo, who is known for promoting her body and self-love, is also accused of weight-shaming Ms Davis on tour, along with dance choreographer Tanisha Scott.
According to the complaint, Ms Davis claims the two questioned whether she was “struggling with something as she seemed less committed to her role on the dance cast.”
“In professional dance, a dancer’s weight increase is frequently interpreted as that dancer becoming lazy or less of a performance. “The documents allege that Lizzo and Ms. Scott’s questions about Ms. Davis’s commitment to the tour were thinly veiled concerns about Ms Davis’s weight gain.”
The queries “gave Ms Davis the impression that she needed to explain her weight gain and disclose intimate personal details about her life in order to keep her job,” according to the lawsuit documents.
The case also claims that BGBT employees chastised dancers for “unacceptable and disrespectful” behaviour while on tour, without describing what that behaviour was.
According to the dancers, “only the dance cast – made up of full-figured women of colour – were ever spoken to in this manner, giving [the dancers] the impression that these comments were charged with racial and fat-phobic animus.”
Shirlene Quigley, the captain of the dance team, is also accused of pushing her Christian ideas on performers and mocking those who indulged in premarital sex.
She is also accused of openly discussing the virginity of one of the former dancers and blogging about it on social media.
The executive team of BGBT has also been accused of racial prejudice.
It claims that black members of the dance company were “treated differently” than other team members.
They were accused of being “lazy, unprofessional, and having bad attitudes” – according to the complaint, these are tropes frequently used “to disparage and discourage” black women, and other dancers were not handled in this manner.
The plaintiffs also claim that Lizzo and the production firm team underpaid them throughout Lizzo’s European tour.
They claim they were only offered 25% of their weekly compensating compensation when not performing on the tour, although other performers earned 50%, and they were also advised not to work on other projects while on tour.
According to the legal action, two of the three dancers engaged in the lawsuit, Ms Davis and Ms Williams, met Lizzo in March 2021 while preparing to compete on the reality TV show Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls.
Ms Rodriguez, the third, was hired later in May 2021 to appear in Lizzo’s Rumours music video. She then remained a member of the dance ensemble, according to the report.
Ms Davis and Ms Williams were sacked from the dance team, and Ms Rodriguez later resigned in protest of her coworkers’ alleged mistreatment.
Truth Hurts, About Damn Time, Juice, Good As Hell, and 2 Be Loved are among Lizzo’s best-known songs.