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Lizzo responds to sexual harassment allegations: "I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not"

03 August 2023, 12:34 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Earlier this week, news broke that Lizzo had been accused of sexual harassment and weight-shaming by former dancers, who were filing a lawsuit against her.

The dancers – Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez – alleged that Lizzo created a hostile work environment and pressured staff at afterparties. Despite being well known as an advocate for body positivity and self-love, Lizzo is said to have criticised a dancer’s recent weight gain and later fired the dancer for recording a meeting.

Additionally Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, is said to have pushed her Christian beliefs upon other performers by criticising those who had premarital sex, sharing sexual fantasies and discussing one performer’s virginity.

The lawsuit further details an incident at an Amsterdam club earlier this year in which the singer allegedly “began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas”, the suit says. Lizzo allegedly pressured dancer Arianna Davis to touch the nude breasts of one performer, and began goading her on when she refused.

Lizzo has now addressed these allegations in a statement on her social media pages: "The last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticised. Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed."

She goes on to say that due to being passionate about what she does as a career, she takes her performances seriously because she only wants to put out the best art that represents herself and her fans. "With passion comes hard work and high standards," she says. "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."

Noting that she is not trying to be looked at as a victim, her statement aims to set the story straight on how she is currently being portrayed in the media.

I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not," she continues, alluding to the sexual harassment allegations. "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 criticise or terminate an employee because of their weight."

Lizzo hasn't directly addressed any of the allegations, and her statement reads more like damage control, but some people don't seem to be buying it.

"As much as you’ve revolutionised the industry, people cannot ignore that there’s more than one person calling out several episodes of professional misconduct," said one Instagram user, whilst another seemed more resolute in their opinion. "If it’s not your intention to make anyone uncomfortable, then, why do they state in a 37 page lawsuit that you make them eat bananas out of a pole dancer’s as_hole? Girl, this is the lamest apology or address to the situation. Good luck".

There are still some people who are taking Lizzo's side, until all the facts have been revealed: "People are such sheep nowadays, they hear “allegations” and immediately think the person is guilty without any other information", one person said. "I cannot believe how quickly people have turned on you based on allegations. This is why social media is so dangerous. I’m sorry to you and anyone going through this, you deserve a fair trial and for the truth to come out. Everyone should save their opinions until then."

No further details of the lawsuit have been revealed.

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