Lizzo Honored With Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award, Joined By Dancers Amid Allegations
Singer and plus-size icon Lizzo was honored with the Black Music Action Coalition’s (BMAC) Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award on Wednesday, September 21, amid ongoing allegations and a pending lawsuit from former employees.
The 35-year-old pop artist was joined onstage by the dancers who make up the “Big Grrls”— a highlight of the singer’s “Special Tour”—as she accepted an award for her philanthropy and activism as well as the groundbreaking nature of her Prime Video series Watch Out For The Big Grrrls.
“Black Music Action Coalition, y’all really are about that action. Thank you so much for this, because I needed this right now,” Lizzo said during her speech. “God’s timing is always on time! I didn’t write a speech because I don’t know what to say in times like these.”
Seemingly hinting at the onslaught of negativity thrown her way in recent months, the “About Damn Time” singer promised to continue her work to shine a light on individuals who are often left in the shadows.
“It’s easy to do the right thing when everybody’s watching you, and it’s what you do in those moments when nobody’s watching that defines who you are,” she continued.
“And I’m going to continue to be who I am, no matter who’s watching. I’m going to continue to shine a light on the people who are helping people, because they deserve it. I’m going to continue to amplify the voices of marginalized people because I have a microphone and I know how to use it.”
Before she took the stage, a video montage of her philanthropic efforts was capped off by cast members of Watch Out For The Big Grrrls, who paid tribute to the singer for her trailblazing efforts as a champion for plus-sized women. They praised her for being the “first person to ever believe in us, show us love and believe in our talent and our craft” and for loving “with her whole heart.”
Though the night ended in celebration, just hours before the BMAC gala, Lizzo was named in a second lawsuit from a former employee who alleged the singer created a toxic work environment in which she was sexually and racially harassed.
Clothing designer Asha Daniels is also claiming disability discrimination and illegal retaliatory termination. Daniels alleged that after being hired to make alterations on costumes made for the dancers on tour with Lizzo, she was “almost immediately…introduced to [a] culture of racism and bullying” that resulted in “constant anxiety and panic attacks.” While the designer doesn’t accuse Lizzo directly of displaying the behavior in question, Daniels alleged the singer turned a willing blind eye to the actions of wardrobe manager Amanda Nomura and tour manager Carlina Gugliotta, who are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
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