‘Love, Lizzo’ Dancers Reportedly Settled Payment Dispute Before Recent Lizzo Lawsuit
A different group of dancers for Lizzo reportedly settled a payment dispute a little while before the singer’s most recent lawsuit.
HBO’s 2022 “Love, Lizzo” documentary” apparently had 14 dancers unaware of their appearances in the project. According to the Los Angeles Times, footage of the dancers candidly opening up about their experiences as Black, plus-sized women dancers during a rehearsal for Lizzo’s 2019 Video Music Awards performance was used without their consent.
The dancers later complained about the footage being used for the documentary. In an email reviewed by The Times, the dancers’ manager, Slay Smiles, detailed 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], by sharing this unauthorized footage to the public without their approval/permission, has truly exploited these women and violated the emotional safety they had in those moments,” Smiles wrote.
According to Boardwalk Pictures attorney Alan Brunswick, “They all knew the cameras were there,” and the footage “was captured openly” with their consent.
Lizzo’s attorney, Martin Singer, said the production company resolved the matter by distributing an appropriate payment to the dancers for clearance of the rights to use the footage. Singer stated that “Lizzo had nothing to do with it.”
The settlements were signed in February after one dancer hired an attorney to press claims.
“We are only using 30-45 seconds of the performance scene (in the process of cutting down to 30). Although, the dancers are also seen as a group for a minute or two during rehearsals, talking with Lizzo about their hardships in the industry,” the clearance producer wrote. “In addition to the extra exposure, we wanted to take care of you all with our limited budget because your stories are so important to be told, and we would love to have you be part of it.”
Dancer Latasha Bryant reached out to Smiles for help securing compensation after a producer presented her with an offer of $350 plus a 10% agency fee for each dancer to appear in the “Love, Lizzo” documentary. With experience on previous productions where she was paid more, Bryant was curious about why the offer was so low.
After months of communication with Boardwalk over payment amounts, the dancers signed settlement agreements, each receiving between $7,092 and $7,545. The total payout equaled $109,551.