Photo Credit: Steve Grantiz, Co-Founder and President of ImageWires

What was the Accusation?

Lizzo, a popular singer and entertainer who is known for promoting a positive body image and women’s empowerment, was sued by three former back-up dancers Arianna Davis, Noelle Rodriguez, and Crystal Williams in August of 2023. They claimed she promoted body shaming, religious harassment, and sexual harassment within her work environment and while on tour. Other claims included being accused of drinking while on the job, being forced to engage in lewd acts while on tour in Amsterdam, and for concerns about weight gain. The back-dancers were named as the plaintiffs in the suit, while Lizzo’s company Big Grrrl Touring and Shirlene Quigley, the dance team captain, were named as defendants in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court.

Lizzo, the four-time Grammy winner, did not immediately respond to the claims, but when she did, she chose to do so via the social media platform Instagram. She had supporters who agreed with her statement on the “sensationalized stories coming from the former employees” and others who were not in agreement with her method of apologizing via a social media platform.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Denial, Bolstering, Attacking the Accuser




Photo Credit: Instagram post by Lizzo (August 3, 2023).


Maravegias, J. (2023, August 3). There’s no apology in Lizzo’s apology. Pajba.

O’Kane, K. (2023, August 2). Lizzo’s former backup dancers detail allegations in lawsuit, including being pressured to touch nude performer. CBS NEWS.

Whitfill Roeloffs, M. (2023, August 2). Lizzo backup dancer lawsuit Isn’t a first – Here are other musicians who’ve been sued by their employees. Forbes.