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Costume Designer Sues Lizzo for Hostile Work Environment, Racial Discrimination

— September 22, 2023

A spokesperson for Lizzo insisted that the now-controversial singer had never even met–let alone spoken to–the woman behind the lawsuit.

Lizzo is facing yet another lawsuit, with a costume designer now accusing the suddenly controversial artist of creating a “sexualized and racially charged” work environment.

According to FOX News, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week by Asha Daniels, who designed costumes for the singer’s 2023 tour.

In her complaint, Daniels claims that Lizzo failed to prevent a hostile work environment—an environment which purportedly subjected workers, contractors, and performers to recurring sexual harassment and intense racial discrimination.

Daniels alleges that Lizzo’s wardrobe manager—Amanda Nomura—forced performers to change in front of men, who would often “gawk” at them. She also says that Nomura did “impressions” of Black women in front of dancers, while also referring to them as “fat,” “useless,” and dumb.

After Daniels complained about Nomura’s misconduct, she was fired from the team.

“Lizzo is the boss, so the buck stops with her. She has created a sexualized and racially charged environment on her routs that her management staff sees as condoning such behavior, and so it continues unchecked,” said attorney Ronald Zambrano, who is representing other clients in a separate claim against the singer. “Lizzo certainly knows what’s going on but chooses not to put an end to this disgusting and illegal conduct and participates herself.”

However, a spokesperson for Lizzo has since called the lawsuit an “absurd publicity stunt,” noting that Lizzo—who is Black—has received numerous awards for supporting and advocating for inclusivity.

Lizzo in 2018. Image via Wikimedia Commons via Flickr. Author: Andy Witchger. (CCA-BY-2.0).

“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 who, wait for it, never actually met or even spoke with Lizzo,” said spokesperson Stefan Friedman.

“We will pay this as much attention as it deserves,” he added. “None.”

Daniels, though, maintains that her working conditions were clearly problematic.

“Plaintiff was looking forward to working with Lizzo and her team because of the values Lizzo portrays in public,” the lawsuit alleges, saying that Daniels expected a “healthy, diverse environment with virtues of respect and empowerment of women.”

“Unfortunately, the opposite turned out to be true. Plaintiff believes the following experiences of degradation, forced physical labor, denial of medical care, sexual harassment, and racial harassment were allowed to take place by Lizzo’ management without consequence because she is a Black woman,” the complaint says.

As has reported before, another lawsuit—also filed by Zambrano, albeit on behalf of three of Lizzo’s former tour dancers—claims that they were “coerced” into touching a nude performer at an Amsterdam nightclub and were also prevented from finding work outside of the tour.

Lizzo also personally allegedly engaged in other types of misconduct, including the weight-shaming of a dancer.

“The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly, while privately she weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing,” Zambrano told FOX.


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