Out of Tune

Singer addresses accusations

Filed in response to her alleged misconduct against touring staff, Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, has been included as a defendant in a recent lawsuit.  Within the claim filed in September, a former employee alleges that Lizzo tolerated a hostile work environment; and following her attempts to find a resolution, the plaintiff was let go from her position in March 2023.  Asha Daniels, who was hired as a wardrobe designer, worked on the singer’s tour at the beginning of this year and is seeking deferred compensation, unpaid wages, and loss of income.

According to the lawsuit, the former employee claims that while on tour, the singer demanded that Daniels never interact with Lizzo and her boyfriend, and to avoid instances of jealousy, was never allowed to wear clothing that may be considered attractive.  A secondary claim includes the treatment of additional tour performers.  As a wardrobe designer, Daniels worked closely with the back-up dancers and reported that they were afforded little to no privacy during their outfit changes between performances.  Due to the close proximity of the changing areas to the stage crew members, dancers could hear inappropriate remarks and were forced to work in a perceivably uncomfortable environment.

Daniels claims that she had addressed these issues with a supervisor, who allegedly did not take her concerns seriously and advised Daniels to not press the matter further.  In addition to naming Lizzo in the lawsuit, Daniels has also included the singer’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc., as well as her wardrobe and tour managers as defendants.  Defenders of Lizzo have issued statements, claiming that the accusations against the singer were revealed at an opportunistic time.  Specifically, on the same day that Lizzo was honored by the Black Music Action Coalition with a Humanitarian Award, news of the lawsuit broke.  The allegations appear to be used as a weapon to contradict Lizzo’s charity and humanitarian work.