Lizzo’s former backup dancers are sharing their reactions after the singer denied their recent allegations of sexual harassment and weight shaming. As The Shade Room previously reported, the three women filed a suit against Lizzo, her production company, and the singer’s dance caption earlier this week.
RELATED: WATCH: Lizzo Calls Harassment Lawsuit ‘False Allegations,’ Dancers Detail Their Accusations In Video Interviews
Lizzo’s Former Backup Dancers Address The Singer’s Denial Of Their Accusations
The three plaintiffs of the suit, Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, sat down for an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight Thursday afternoon. During the interview, Williams explained that she feels Lizzo has “essentially” attempted to gaslight the plaintiffs with her response to their accusations.
“I think for me; it’s just very interesting to be so open and genuine about the trauma that we experienced and to be open about the hurt that she caused us, for her to [respond back by] essentially gaslighting us…”
Williams explained that Lizzo’s response to their accusations didn’t address “any” of their claims “[directly].” Nor did the singer’s response attempt to take accountability on any level.
“She never acknowledged any of the claims [directly] that we have brought forward to the table. And so for it to be met with that, it just kind of solidifies the pattern that every time we bring up an issue, every time we advocate for ourselves… we’re met with retaliation instead of ‘OK, you experienced this. As an artist and what I represent, I don’t want you to feel like I don’t care about you. I don’t want you to feel like I don’t want to include you. I don’t want you to feel like I’m body-shaming you. If this is what you’re feeling, I might completely disagree with you but, I can at least try to hear you out to see how we can go moving forward.’”
However, Williams continued by explaining that they “weren’t met with that.” Additionally, she added that she, Davis, and Rodriguez are “constantly being gaslit,” and Lizzo is “constantly deflecting.”
“So it just further proves our point and solidifies the claims that we’re making.”
The Plaintiffs’ Attorney Shares His Thoughts On The Singer’s Response To Their Accusations
The outlet also spoke with the plaintiffs’ attorney, Ron Zambrano, who believes Lizzo’s response is “a public admission” and “failed defense.”
“Part of her statement [was] like, ‘You know [I’m] very open about my sexuality,’ which I thought that was an odd thing to say when you’re talking about allegations [concerning] such blatant sexual conduct. So it’s kind of she’s [saying], ‘Listen, I’m sexual and I told you about it, so you have to deal with it,’ right? It’s about her,” Zambrano told the outlet.
Additionally, he added that — similarly to Williams — that Lizzo’s response failed to show empathy for the women.
“And I also think it’s a failure because she had the opportunity to be like, ‘My brand is about inclusivity [and] empathy, and I empathize with these women’s feelings even though I disagree with our versions of the same event.’”
Ariana Davis then stepped in to add further context to Zambrano’s sentiment.
“So imagine… being put in this environment and your hero, or someone you looked up to, not being who they say they are but then continuing to be looked at as this amazing person and knowing that it’s all performative… [it’s the] most excruciating pain to be silenced…”
More Details Regarding The Singer’s Response & The Dancers’ Lawsuit
As The Shade Room previously reported, on Tuesday, August 1, the three dancers filed the lawsuit against Lizzo, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., and Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley.
In the lawsuit, the group alleged that “how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly.” Additionally, the suit added that the singer “privately” weight shames her dancers “and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing.”
The suit also included instances where the singer allegedly forced her dancers to touch “nude performers” and “eat bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas” at an Amsterdam strip club.
“Plaintiffs were aghast with how little regard Lizzo showed for the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, especially in the presence of many people whom she employed.”
On Thursday, Lizzo took to social media to share her first public statement in response to the allegations.
“These last few days have been gut-wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals, and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized. Usually, I choose not to respond to false allegations, but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.”
The singer continued by explaining that she is not a “villain” or “victim,” adding that she has been “very open” with her sexuality. However, she will not allow others to “use that openness” to make her “out to be something” she is not.
“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 these last few days. 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…”
Lizzo concluded her statement by explaining that she takes respect for other women “seriously” and would never body shame another person.
“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 criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.”
Roomies, what do you think about this?