14 Lizzo Dancers Received A Settlement Over "Love, Lizzo" Documentary Footage, Six Months Before The Current Lawsuit

According to the Los Angeles Times, 14 dancers settled a dispute with Lizzo six months ago over her 2022 documentary Love, Lizzo.

Closeup of Lizzo
Anna Webber / Getty Images for Prime Video

The dispute arose over a five-minute section in the documentary where a group of dancers rehearsed with Lizzo for the 2019 MTV VMAs. The emotional conversation with Lizzo centered on what it's like to be a plus-size Black dancer, with one performer saying, "You have to be three times better than. It’s not two times. It’s three times" while others wiped tears from their eyes.

Lizzo onstage
John Shearer / Getty Images

According to documents and sources close to the dancers, the dancers later alleged that the footage was used in the documentary without them knowing about it or consenting to it.

Closeup of Lizzo at a medie event
Sarah Morris / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The dancers' manager, Slay Smiles, reportedly said in an email sent in January, “After seeing all of the videos, I’m sure you realize how sensitive and private the dialogue was for the talent involved. [...] This was supposed to be a safe space to express and share with the Principal talent [Lizzo], so by sharing this unauthorized footage to the public without their approval/permissions, has truly exploited these women and violated the emotional safety they had in those moments.”

Closeup of Lizzo in a strapless dress
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

An attorney for the documentary's co-producer, Boardwalk Pictures, told the LA Times, “They all knew the cameras were there. [...] I don’t think the documentary was even contemplated at that point.”

Closeup of Lizzo
Sarah Morris / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

According to the LA Times, "Boardwalk Pictures, a Lizzo entity, and other parties" signed settlements with the dancers in February, meaning that they were paid for appearing in the documentary. The dancers reportedly signed confidentiality agreements.

Lizzo singing onstage
Noam Galai / Getty Images

Lizzo's lawyer, Marty Singer, told the publication, “Lizzo had nothing to do with it and knew nothing about it.”

Lizzo dancing onstage
Bennett Raglin / WireImage,

Of course, the story is likely emerging after news hit earlier this month that Lizzo is being sued by three former dancers for alleged sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

Lizzo onstage in a leotard
Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

Following the harassment lawsuit news, director Sophia Nahli Allison claimed that she was originally the director for Love, Lizzo, saying in an Instagram story, "I was treated with such disrespect by her. I witnessed how arrogant, self-centered, and unkind she is. [...] I felt gaslit and was deeply hurt, but I've healed. Reading these reports made me realize how dangerous of a situation it was."

Closeup of Lizzo

The apparent first camera assistant for the project, Charlene Sánchez, reposted Sophia's story and alleged, "This is all so true. I had to vent to so many of my friends about it. It was such a small crew, and the experience of working with Lizzo was a nightmare."

Sarah Morris / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Earlier today, TMZ published photos of the dancers that, according to Singer, show them "happily carousing" with some of the topless dancers mentioned in the suit. Singer further said in a statement to the Independent that they “intend to sue for malicious prosecution after she prevails and these specious claims are dismissed.”

In response, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Neama Rahmani, told TMZ, "We’ve been hearing from other former employees sharing similar stories, and as seen in the Los Angeles Times article today about how Lizzo used intimate footage of her dancers without their approval in the 2022 HBO Max Love, Lizzo documentary, we’re seeing even more of a pattern of just how much Lizzo thinks of those who work for her. Clearly, not very much.”

You can read the full LA Times story here.