Oscar-nominated director, Sophia Nahli Allison, has recently come forward to shed light on her experience working with Lizzo. Back in 2019, she was given the opportunity to direct a documentary about the Grammy-winning pop star, Lizzo. However, she made the difficult decision to resign from the project after merely two weeks due to the unpleasant treatment she received from the singer.
Taking to social media, Sophia Nahli Allison expressed her thoughts, “I usually don’t comment on anything related to pop culture, In 2019, I had the opportunity to travel with Lizzo as the director of a documentary film. However, my journey with the project was short-lived, as I made the decision to leave after just two weeks.” She went on to describe her unsettling encounter, “I witnessed how arrogant and unkind she was. I felt unprotected and thrown into a bad situation with little support.”
The director candidly revealed that her intuition led her to make a swift exit from the project. “My heart told me to run as fast as possible, and I’m grateful I listened to it. I felt gaslit and deeply hurt, but I have healed,” she confessed, as reported by Variety on Wednesday, August 2.
The Troubling Work Environment
The distressing work environment experienced alongside Lizzo influenced Sophia Nahli Allison’s decision to leave the documentary project. Her statement came in the wake of allegations made by three former Lizzo dancers, who filed a lawsuit against the musician. The dancers accused Lizzo of harassment and creating an unfriendly work environment.
In response to the reports of the lawsuit, Sophia Nahli Allison expressed her concern, “Reading those reports made me realize how dangerous the situation was.Instances of abuse of power like this occur far too frequently. We extend our heartfelt love and unwavering support to the dancers affected by this situation.”
The “Love, Lizzo” Documentary
The documentary project, titled “Love, Lizzo,” eventually found its way to the screens in 2022. However, it was not Sophia Nahli Allison who helmed the project, but rather Doug Pray, known for his works in “Levitated Mass” (2013) and “Art & Copy” (2009).
Lizzo’s representatives have yet to respond to the allegations brought forth by Sophia Nahli Allison, and the singer herself has remained silent about the lawsuit filed by her three former dancers.
The Allegations Against Lizzo
The lawsuit, filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, August 1, names Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, her company Big Grrrl Big Touring Inc. (BGBT), and Lizzo’s dance captain, Shirlene Quigley.
Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams, and Noelle Rodriguez, the three former dancers who filed the lawsuit, accused Lizzo and the defendants of sexual, racial, and religious harassment, disability discrimination, assault, false imprisonment, and other allegations.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs made one significant allegation that Lizzo forced the former dancers to touch naked performers during a sex show in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. The dancers felt compelled to comply with this humiliating demand out of fear of losing their jobs.
Lack of Concern for Employee Autonomy
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs emphasized how little Lizzo seemed to care about the bodily autonomy of her employees and those around her, which took them aback.
The Outcome and Ongoing Support
As the legal proceedings continue, the spotlight remains on the allegations against Lizzo and the serious issue of workplace harassment and abuse of power in the entertainment industry. The three former dancers deserve support and a fair investigation into their claims, shedding light on the importance of creating a safe and respectful work environment for all.