Filmmaker Dropped Out As Director Of Lizzo's Documentary Due To Mistreatment And How "Arrogant, Self-Centered, And Unkind" She Was

Shortly after Lizzo's former dancers announced their lawsuit against her, Sophia Nahli Allison came forward to describe the harrowing experience she had with Lizzo: "I was treated with such disrespect by her. I felt gaslit and was deeply hurt, but I've healed."

By Gina Florio3 min read
Getty/Leon Neal

Lizzo, widely recognized for her in-your-face body positivity messages, is facing a lawsuit from former dancers Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez. The lawsuit accuses Lizzo and her production company, including her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, of religious and racial harassment, false imprisonment, weight-shaming, and more. Specific incidents include Lizzo's alleged comments on Davis's weight after a performance, leading to accusations of weight-shaming, and an incident in an Amsterdam club where the dancers were allegedly coerced into engaging in explicit activities, such as forcing them to eat bananas out of sex workers' vaginas. Two dancers were fired, Rodriguez resigned feeling disrespected, and Williams was terminated after challenging Lizzo's accusations. Davis was also fired after recording a meeting due to her health condition, leading to allegations of false imprisonment by Lizzo's production company.

The suit claims emotional distress, unpaid wages, loss of earnings, and attorney's fees but does not specify a dollar amount. The situation appears to contrast sharply with Lizzo's public image, who had earlier sought to promote inclusivity in the entertainment industry through initiatives like "Big Grrrls" dance search. The incident has spurred online reactions pointing to the perceived hypocrisy in Lizzo's stance on body positivity and her treatment of her employees. But it seems like this might just be the beginning of exposing Lizzo's true nature.

Filmmaker Dropped out as Director of Lizzo's Documentary Due to Mistreatment

Sophia Nahli Allison, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, has recently come forward with allegations against Lizzo. In a startling statement on Twitter, Allison claimed she "walked away" from directing a documentary on Lizzo due to what she labeled as an "abuse of power" and disrespectful treatment by the singer. This revelation arrives in the midst of the whole internet in a frenzy about the former dancers' lawsuit.

The Los Angeles-based filmmaker, known for her documentary short A Love Song for Latasha, had initially taken on the role of the director for Lizzo's documentary in 2019. However, the working relationship was short-lived. She shared her thoughts on Twitter.

"I usually do not comment on anything pop culture related," Allison said. "But, in 2019, I traveled a bit with Lizzo to be the director of her documentary. I walked away after about 2 weeks. I was treated with such disrespect by her."

Allison said she "witnessed how arrogant, self-centered, and unkind she is." She was "thrown into a sh*tty situation with little support" and felt unprotected in a toxic environment. "My spirit said to run as fast as you f*cking can and I'm so grateful I trusted my gut." Allison didn't specify which documentary she temporarily worked on, but presumably it was Love, Lizzo, which was released in 2022.

"I felt gaslit and was deeply hurt, but I've healed," Allison continued. "Reading these reports made me realize how dangerous of a situation it was. This kind of abuse of power happens far too often."

In their lawsuit, the dancers specifically allege that 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." Moreover, they accuse Lizzo of starting a group chant pressuring Davis to touch one of the performer's breasts, despite Davis repeatedly expressing her discomfort and refusal.

It's also bombastic to hear that Lizzo, the supposed queen of body positivity and empowerment of women of all sizes, was the one who was weight-shaming and body-shaming her dancers. It's ironic that the woman who claims to be a supporter of all women is actually the most toxic, who not only brings women down for their looks but even coerces them into performing sexual acts that make them feel deeply uncomfortable and unsafe. As Allison said, there is constantly an abuse of power happening in the world of Hollywood; we may think it only happens at the hands of powerful men like Harvey Weinstein, but it certainly happens in the midst of powerful women as well. Lizzo rose to fame quickly over the last several years and now it's estimated that her net worth is $40 million. She has been on the receiving end of multiple awards, but all of the fame and power may have gone to her head in an immensely dangerous way.

The allegations made by Allison and the dancers raise serious questions about the disparity between Lizzo's public persona and her alleged behavior behind the scenes. In an industry where the image plays a crucial role, such allegations may have a significant impact on Lizzo's career. The coming weeks and months are likely to see further developments in this unfolding saga as more facts come to light.

In TV and film, we've been fed the narrative that the most beautiful, thin women are the ones who are the meanest. And it's actually the overweight girls who don't meet the traditional beauty standards who are the nice ones. But it's becoming clearer that the opposite is true. Women like Lizzo—obese, miserable, and recklessly loud—try to paint themselves as the compassionate ones who will support women of all shapes and sizes, but they end up being the villains at the end of the day. Because happy, beautiful women have no reason to be toxic towards others.

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