OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
5:30 PM – Thursday, September 21, 2023
Singer and songwriter Lizzo is being sued again, but this time by her 2023 tour costume designer, Asha Daniels, for allegedly allowing bullying and harassment which contributed to a “sexualized and racially charged” work environment.
On Thursday, court documents showed that Daniels, who designed costumes for the pop star’s 2023 tour, accused the singer of bullying and harassment. The costume designer sued Lizzo’s team for failure to prevent a hostile work environment along with sexual harassment and racial discrimination, according to the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, Daniels accused Lizzo’s wardrobe manager, Amanda Nomura, of bullying and harassment. Reportedly, Nomura coerced performers to change clothes in front of men, who would “lewdly gawk” at them. Additionally, she was accused of doing impressions of Black women in front of the performers and referring to them as “fat,” “useless” and “dumb.”
Daniels stated that after she complained to Lizzo’s team about Nomura’s behavior. She was immediately fired after she expressed concern.
“Lizzo is the boss, so the buck stops with her. She has created a sexualized and racially charged environment on her tours that her management staff sees as condoning such behavior, and so it continues unchecked,” Daniels’ lawyer, Ronald Zambrano, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “Lizzo certainly knows what’s going on but chooses not to put an end to this disgusting and illegal conduct and participates herself.”
A representative for Lizzo told Fox News Digital in a statement that the lawsuit was an “absurd publicity stunt.”
“As Lizzo receives a Humanitarian Award tonight from the Black Music Action Coalition for the incredible charitable work she has done to lift up all people, an ambulance-chasing lawyer tries to sully this honor by recruiting someone to file a bogus, absurd publicity-stunt lawsuit who, wait for it, never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo,” Stefan Friedman said. “We will pay this as much attention as it deserves. None.”
In January, Lizzo’s team approached Daniels and she allegedly joined in an official capacity in February, when events took a turn for the worse, according to the costume designer.
“Plaintiff was looking forward to working with Lizzo and her team because of the values Lizzo portrays in public,” according to Daniels’ lawsuit.
The costume designer had anticipated a “healthy, diverse environment with virtues of respect and empowerment of women.”
“Unfortunately, the opposite turned out to be true. Plaintiff believes the following experiences of degradation, forced physical labor, denial of medical care, sexual harassment, and racial harassment were allowed to take place by Lizzo’ management without consequence because she is a Black woman,” Daniels stated.
Additionally, Daniels claimed to have been subject to an overbearing and exhausting work schedule under Lizzo’s management.
She mentioned that this involved 20-hour daily shifts and that she was regularly denied by Lizzo’s wardrobe manager, Nomura, when requesting to take breaks. She also mentioned that she was told to work even after she injured her ankle. Allegedly, Nomura “monitored and policed” team members who were under her supervision.
Previously, Lizzo had been accused of sexual harassment and “fat-phobic” behavior in a lawsuit that was filed by her backup dancers.
According to three of the pop star’s backup dancers, they were pressured to touch a nude performer at an Amsterdam nightclub and go through an “excruciating” audition after allegations of unprofessionalism and drinking on the job. Additionally, the dancers claimed that they were stopped from finding work outside of Lizzo’s tour, according to documents filed in August.
“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,” Zambrano, who also represents the dancers, told Fox News Digital at the time.
According to a post Lizzo shared with her 12.8 million followers, she denied that these allegations were true.
“These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional,” Lizzo wrote on her Instagram. “With passion comes hard work and high standards. 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. 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.”
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