Backup singers accuse Lizzo of forcing them to touch performers in Amsterdam strip club

Three former backup dancers filed a lawsuit against Lizzo, accusing the singer of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. Among the accusations in the lawsuit filed Tuesday is that Lizzo coerced them to touch nude performers in the Amsterdam strip club Bananenbar, NBC News reports.

The Bananenbar incidents happened after Lizzo performed in the Dutch capital earlier this year. According to the lawsuit, Lizzo “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.”

She allegedly focused on one backup dancer, coercing her to touch a performer’s breasts, leading a chant to goad her into it when she refused. “Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her,” the suit says.

The backup dancers also accuse Lizzo of weight-shaming one of them before firing her, religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, and other allegations. The lawsuit is filed against Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, her production company, and her dance captain Shirlene Quigley.

“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,” Ron Zambrano, the lawyer representing the three dancers, told NBC News.

Lizzo, her production company Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc., and Quigley were not available to respond, according to the news agency.

ImageThe Bananenbar on Oudezijds Acterburgwal in Amsterdam The Bananenbar on Oudezijds Acterburgwal in Amsterdam – Credit: Gerd Eichmann / Wikimedia Commons – License: CC-BY-SA

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