Lizzo has recently been in the news due to allegations regarding the treatment of her dancers. This is not the first time such issues have arisen.
In 2022, Lizzo’s documentary, Love Lizzo, debuted on HBO Max. One scene shows a group of dancers helping Lizzo prepare for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards and discussing their experiences in the industry. However, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, the dancers later claimed that they were not aware that this footage would be included in the film and had not given their consent. As a result, they were not compensated for their participation, despite Lizzo being a producer on the project.
The dancers’ manager, Slay Smiles, sent an email to the attorney of Boardwalk Pictures, Alan Brunswick, on January 17th expressing concern about the situation. Smiles wrote that the footage was sensitive and private, intended to be a safe space for expression and sharing with Lizzo. By making this footage public without their permission, Smiles argued that the dancers had been exploited and their emotional safety violated.
The issue escalated when one of the dancers hired a lawyer. This led to a confidential settlement being signed by “Boardwalk Pictures, a Lizzo entity and other parties”, in which the dancers were compensated and relinquished their rights to appear in the documentary.
Martin Singer, Lizzo’s attorney, stated that the problem was resolved by the production company and that Lizzo was not involved in or aware of the situation.
Lizzo is signed to Warner Music, while Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.