Katherine Ryan has waded in with her thoughts on Lizzo after the singer was accused of a number of allegations.
The Truth Hurts singer, 35, has denied accusations of a hostile work environment and sexual harassment made by three of her dancers.
One dancer alleged that they were pressured to touch a nude performer at a club in Amsterdam, and that Lizzo allegedly ‘called attention’ to a performer’s weight gain.
The suit, which was obtained by several US outlets, also named Lizzo’s production company, Big Grrrl Big Touring, Inc, and her dance captain, Shirlene Quigley, as defendants – but not every claim was related to all three.
The lawyer representing the three dancers who filed a complaint against Lizzo and her production company said the US singer’s denial of the allegations ‘only adds to our clients’ emotional distress’.
Now, 40-year-old comedian Katherine has shared her thoughts on the matter in an episode of her podcast called What’s Happening with Lizzo!?
Released yesterday – and before Lizzo spoke out about the accusations and denied them – Katherine said on her show Katherine Ryan: Telling Everybody Everything she found the news ‘jarring’ given Lizzo’s public image.
The self-confessed Lizzo fan recalled how she and her daughter Violet saw Lizzo live in 2019, and her show was ‘amazing’ and ’empowering’.
At the time, Katherine said the About Damn Time hitmaker had ‘about five’ dancers, who were ‘all different shapes and sizes’.
‘She really silences people who say you can’t be bigger and healthy,’ The Duchess star said, describing what she thought Lizzo represents.
‘Because she’s playing the flute, singing, dancing, running up and down that stage. She’s very clearly in great health, and she preaches about loving yourself, and being empowered, no matter what you look like,’ Katherine explained.
‘So it is very jarring to read today that she is being sued by three of her dancers.’
The Taskmaster star then said she thought if just one dancer was making the claim, it ‘could be bull****’ but pointed out three people have brought allegations against the singer.
But, as someone who runs in famous circles, Katherine said she has ‘not heard’ any ‘rumours’ that Lizzo is ‘an a**hole’.
‘I have not heard, and I do usually hear rumours when someone’s an a**hole,’ she said before speculating that perhaps Lizzo is ‘too famous’ for her to have heard about.
‘Maybe she isn’t the kindest boss, I don’t know,’ she said. ‘Maybe she is like Ellen [DeGeneres]. You know, Ellen became beloved, and people at home were like: “Ellen oh my god she’s such a great person, she’s always doing charity on her show, and she’s so funny.”
‘And then behind closed doors it was alleged that Ellen had a very toxic work environment.’
The star then pondered whether becoming so famous, with all its expectations, could lead people to ‘forget how to treat people’.
‘I’m not excusing it, but it seems to be a pattern,’ she clarified, before explaining another thought she’d had about hiring the ‘wokest of the woke’.
‘I don’t want to victim blame,’ Katherine began. ‘But when you are wokest of the woke, and you’re body positive, and you hire the wokest of the woke, maybe you just can’t win.
‘Maybe they’re so woke, you’ve done like such a good job of hiring diverse, body positive, differently-abled, neuro-diverse people – that they’re so woke, that something that you do is wrong in their eyes.’
Katherine can’t wait to see how this all turns out, because she really likes Lizzo and would be ‘heartbroken’ if the claims turned out to be true.
In a statement released on Instagram, the singer called out what she described as ‘sensationalized stories’.
‘These last few days have been gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,’ she wrote.
‘Usually I choose not to respond to false allegations but these are as unbelievable as they sound and too outrageous to not be addressed.’
The musician continued: ‘These sensationalized stories are coming from former employees who have already publicly admitted that they were told their behavior on tour was inappropriate and unprofessional.’
‘I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day I only want to put out the best art than represents me and my fans. With passion comes hard work and high standards,’ she stated.
‘Sometimes I have to make hard decisions but it’s never my intention to make anyone feel uncomfortable or like they aren’t valued as an important part of the team.’
The Juice singer stressed that she does not want to be ‘looked at as a victim’, adding: ‘But I also know that I am not the villain that people and the media have portrayed me to be these last few days.’
‘I am very open with my sexuality and expressing myself but I cannot accept or allow people to use that openness to make me out to be something I am not,’ she said.
‘There is nothing I take more seriously than the respect we deserve as women in the world. I know what it feels like to be body shamed on a daily basis and would absolutely never criticize or terminate an employee because of their weight.
‘I’m hurt but I will not let the good work I’ve done in the world be overshadowed by this. I want to thank everyone who has reached out in support to lift me up during this difficult time.’
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