A former wardrobe designer who worked briefly on Lizzo’s 2023 tour before being dismissed filed a lawsuit on Thursday alleging that the tour’s wardrobe manager had created a hostile work environment that tour management and Lizzo failed to address.
In the complaint the plaintiff, Asha Daniels, who worked on the tour for less than a month, names Lizzo as a defendant, but does not accuse her directly of harassing behavior. In a news release accompanying the lawsuit, Ron Zambrano, her lawyer, said, “Lizzo is the boss so the buck stops with her.”
The filing comes more than a month after three of Lizzo’s former dancers, who are also represented by Zambrano, sued the singer and her production company, accusing them of creating a hostile work environment. Lizzo has denied the allegations, and her lawyer has said she plans to countersue. On Thursday, a spokesman for Lizzo called the latest suit an “absurd publicity stunt” and noted that the singer had never met the plaintiff.
In the court papers submitted on Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Daniels said she was asked to join the tour in early 2023 by the wardrobe manager, Amanda Nomura. The lawsuit alleges that throughout Daniels’s employment, Nomura had made “racist and fatphobic” comments and mocked both Lizzo and Lizzo’s background dancers “by doing an offensive stereotypical impression of a Black woman.”
The lawsuit also alleged that a backstage manager on the tour sent a photo “graphically depicting male genitalia” to a group text message that included the plaintiff, tour management and other crew members; the lawsuit said the singer’s management failed to properly address the message, responding to it with humor in a way that encouraged an “unsafe, sexually charged workplace culture.”
The plaintiff also said she was subjected to long hours and frequently denied breaks, alleging that Nomura required her to be on her feet all day despite an ankle injury.
Attempts to reach Nomura on Thursday were not immediately successful.
In response to the lawsuit, a spokesman for Lizzo, Stefan Friedman, said that Daniels never had any contact with the pop star during her time with the tour.
“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,” Friedman said.
He went on, “We will pay this as much attention as it deserves. None.”