Lizzo accepts Quincy Jones Award amidst legal battles

Lizzo has accepted the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award shortly after being named in a another lawsuit – while also delivering a speech that seemed to reference her current legal troubles.

On Thursday (September 21), Lizzo was hit with a lawsuit claiming that racial discrimination, bullying, and harassment had occurred in her team. This is the second lawsuit against the artist in recent times; last month, a lawsuit filed by three of her backup dancers alleged the singer had sexually harassed her dancers and created a hostile work environment, amongst other claims.

But yesterday, new allegations of bullying were raised against Lizzo’s team. Asha Daniels, a former fashion designer for Lizzo, claimed that Lizzo’s wardrobe manager Amanda Nomura had called the backup dancers “fat,” “useless” and “dumb”. Nomura was also accused of making stereotypical impressions of Black women and forcing them to change in front of a largely white, male crew, who would “lewdly gawk” at the dancers.

Daniels’ lawyer Ron Zambrano said: “Lizzo is the boss, so the buck stops with her.”

Lizzo accepts the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award at the BMAC Gala. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Black Music Action Coalition)
Lizzo accepts the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award at the BMAC Gala. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Black Music Action Coalition)

Later that day, Lizzo attended the Black Music Action Coalition Gala to accept the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award. Though she did not appear on the Black Carpet, she did arrive on stage to be presented with the award by some of her backup dancers, collectively known as the ‘Big Grrls’ and ‘Big Boiis’. Certain dancers have previously praised the singer in an open letter, written on August 18.

After watching a video montage of Lizzo’s previous humanitarian efforts involving her support for LGBTQ+ rights and Planned Parenthood, the singer made a speech.

Black Music Action Coalition, y’all really are about that action,” she began. “Thank you so much for this, because I needed this right now. God’s timing is always on time! I didn’t write a speech because I don’t know what to say in times like these.”

After speaking about her history of philanthropy, she continued: “It’s easy to do the right thing when everybody’s watching you, and it’s what you do in those moments when nobody’s watching that defines who you are. And I’m going to continue to be who I am, no matter who’s watching. I’m going to continue to shine a light on the people who are helping people, because they deserve it. I’m going to continue to amplify the voices of marginalized people because I have a microphone and I know how to use it.”

“And, I’m going to continue to put on and represent safe spaces for fat Black women, because that’s what the fuck I do!”

Lizzo poses with Flava Flav at the BMAC Gala 2023. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Black Music Action Coalition)
Lizzo poses with Flava Flav at the BMAC Gala 2023. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Black Music Action Coalition)

So far, Lizzo has denied all claims brought by both lawsuits. A spokesperson for Lizzo responded to the most recent lawsuit, calling it “a bogus, absurd publicity-stunt” from a person who “never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo.”

They further added: “We will pay this as much attention as it deserves. None.”

Lizzo also personally responded to the original lawsuit on August 3, where she wrote a lengthy Instagram post. “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 said. “I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this.”

Lizzo is also planning on suing the original three dancers for “malicious prosecution”. The singer’s attorney Martin Singer, who has previously represented clinets such as Bill Cosby and Johnny Depp, has called the lawsuit a “sham”.


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