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Lizzo Breaks Silence on Hostile Work Environment Allegations on August 3, 2023 at 11:36 am Us Weekly

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Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Lizzo is speaking out after three of her former dancers filed a lawsuit against her for allegedly creating a toxic work environment.

“These last few days have gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Lizzo began in a lengthy statement on Thursday, August 3, calling the allegations against her “false,” “unbelievable” and “too outrageous not to be addressed.”

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She 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. As an artist, I have always been very passionate about what I do. I take my music and my performances seriously because at the end of the day, I only want to put out the best art that represents me and my fans.”

Lizzo wrote that “with passion comes hard work and high standards,” claiming that she has to make “hard decisions” but doesn’t intentionally make people not feel “valued as an important part of the team.” She added that she is “not here to be looked at as a victim” but is also “not the villain” that she has been “portrayed” as.

“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,” she wrote. “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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Us Weekly confirmed on Tuesday, August 1, that Arianna Davis, Crystal Williams and Noelle Rodriguez sued Lizzo, her tour company and dance captain Shirlene Quigley, claiming they experienced a hostile work environment, religious harassment, disability discrimination, sexual harassment and more while working with Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson.

In the suit, the dancers recalled several instances of being uncomfortable performing certain tasks, including participating in a nude photo shoot for Lizzo’s reality show.

“Ms. Davis broke down in tears on set while struggling to choose between a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity and putting her body on display against her will,” the lawsuit read. “This experience foreshadowed the sexually charged and uncomfortable environment Lizzo’s employees would be forced to endure.”

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The trio also recalled an unsavory trip to the Red Light District in Amsterdam while on tour. While Lizzo invited her crew to the optional outing, the dancers felt “obligated” to go because they were afraid of “losing their jobs.”

“While at Bananenbar, things quickly got out of hand. Lizzo began inviting cast members to take turns touching the nude performers, catching dildos launched from the performers’ vaginas, and eating bananas protruding from the performers’ vaginas,” the documents stated. “Lizzo then turned her attention to Ms. Davis and began pressuring Ms. Davis to touch the breasts of one of the nude women performing at the club.”

After the allegations came to light, Sophia Nahli Allison — who briefly worked with Lizzo to film a documentary — shared her experience with the “Truth Hurts” singer.

“I usually do not comment on anything pop culture related. But, in 2019, I traveled a bit with Lizzo to be the director of her documentary,” Allison, 36, wrote via Twitter at the time. “I walked away after about 2 weeks. I was treated with such disrespect by her,” she alleged.

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Every Time Lizzo Used Her Platform to Preach Body Positivity

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The Oscar-nominated filmmaker — who was inspired to share her experience after hearing about the lawsuit — went on to explain that she found Lizzo to be “arrogant, self-centered and unkind” in their brief interaction.

“I was not protected and was thrown into a sh—y situation with little support,” she claimed. “My spirit said to run as fast as you f—king can and I’m so grateful I trusted my gut. I felt gaslit and was deeply hurt, but I’ve healed.”

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Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock Lizzo is speaking out after three of her former dancers filed a lawsuit against her for allegedly creating a toxic work environment. “These last few days have gut wrenchingly difficult and overwhelmingly disappointing. My work ethic, morals and respectfulness have been questioned. My character has been criticized,” Lizzo began in a lengthy statement 

​   Us Weekly Read More 

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Rosie Maddox: Rom-Com Wins with Best Screenplay!

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Get ready to applaud because Rosie Maddox, the creative genius behind “Wishing on Stars,” is making waves with her latest triumph as the winner of the Best Romantic Comedy Screenplay Award! Her captivating storytelling has earned her a well-deserved spotlight at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, where her heartwarming screenplay stole hearts and tickled funny bones.

From the bustling streets of Washington to the vibrant cityscape of Seattle, Rosie’s narrative prowess shines as she crafts a tale of serendipitous reunions and unexpected love. With “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie invites audiences on an enchanting journey of rediscovery, friendship, and the magic of second chances.

This isn’t just any rom-com—it’s a testament to Rosie’s innate ability to infuse depth and authenticity into her characters, making them leap off the page and into our hearts. As we eagerly await the cinematic adaptation of “Wishing on Stars,” Rosie continues to captivate audiences with her unique brand of storytelling, proving that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of film.

Join us in celebrating Rosie Maddox’s remarkable achievement and stay tuned for more updates as she continues to enchant us with her magical tales of laughter, love, and the endless possibilities of the human heart. Congratulations, Rosie—you’ve truly earned your place among the stars!

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Please feel free to check out on online store here.

 

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Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

“Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!”

 

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“Changing Spots”: A Heartwarming Family Journey

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In “Changing Spots,” Lauren L. Owen masterfully weaves a heartwarming tale centered around Lizzie Jennings, a black anthropology student in her mid-30s, and her aging father, Walter. As Walter grapples with the challenges of living independently for the first time, Lizzie steps in to assist him, embarking on a dual mission to help her father become self-sustainable while documenting their progress for her thesis. Through candid interviews and her own camera footage, the story unfolds in a captivating mockumentary style, offering a glimpse into the tender moments and humorous mishaps that define their journey.

Owen, a trailblazing talent in the industry and the first Black or African American graduate of NYU’s MBA/MFA dual master’s degree program, brings her unique perspective to “Changing Spots.” With a remarkable background in producing, writing, and directing, including collaborations with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee and notable projects like “BlacKkKlansman” and “See You Yesterday,” Owen’s work is deeply rooted in promoting diversity both on and off the screen. Through her storytelling, she celebrates the bond between black women and their fathers, shedding light on the often overlooked narratives that resonate with audiences on a profound level.

Fun fact: Lauren Owen is also an Associate Producer for the Netflix Original Film, “See You Yesterday,” further showcasing her versatility and impact in the industry.

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As Owen shares her personal connection to the story, drawing inspiration from her own experiences and her playful sense of humor inherited from her father, she invites viewers to embrace the complexities of familial relationships and the importance of staying connected despite life’s challenges. “Changing Spots” serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of love, laughter, and shared moments, resonating with audiences of all backgrounds and generations.

Moreover, Owen’s exceptional talent as a writer shines through as she clinched the prestigious Best Comedy Short Screenplay Award at the Houston Comedy Film Festival, further cementing her status as a rising star in the industry. This accolade not only recognizes Owen’s remarkable storytelling skills but also underscores the universal appeal and relatability of “Changing Spots.” As audiences continue to embrace this heartwarming tale, Owen’s win serves as a testament to the enduring impact of stories that celebrate the beauty of family bonds and the journey of self-discovery.

Please feel free to check out on online store here.

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

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Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

 

Shoutout to our sponsor Travis Whitbeck from Roots & Spores. Check out their instagram follow and support here.

Roots & Spores Coffee Owner Travis Whitbeck

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“A Messy Divorce” Named Finalist for Best Dark Comedy Film Award

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Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev

Phil Grishayev, a talented filmmaker based in Los Angeles, is making waves in the comedy film scene with his uproarious short film, “A Messy Divorce.” Born and raised in Poland, Grishayev relocated to the United States in his early twenties, where his passion for storytelling and visual arts blossomed. Despite being relatively new to directing and producing, Grishayev’s creative vision and dedication have propelled him into the spotlight of the entertainment industry.

“A Messy Divorce” is not only Grishayev’s directorial debut but also a testament to his ability to breathe life into captivating narratives. The film, originally conceived as a screenplay by Grishayev’s friend Lenar Kamalov, follows the misadventures of a newly divorced couple who accidentally run over a man on the road and hilariously attempt to cover up their tracks. With its clever twists and comedic timing, “A Messy Divorce” has earned critical acclaim and audience praise alike.

Despite its humble beginnings, “A Messy Divorce” has already achieved notable success in the film festival circuit. Grishayev’s screenplay won a prestigious award at SWN, and the film was selected as an Official Entry at the Houston Comedy Festival in 2021. Now, as a finalist for the Best Dark Comedy Film Award at the esteemed Houston Comedy Film Festival, “A Messy Divorce” continues to captivate audiences with its unique blend of humor and wit.

Looking ahead, Grishayev has ambitious plans to expand “A Messy Divorce” into a full-length feature film, showcasing his commitment to storytelling and filmmaking. With his innovative approach and creative flair, Grishayev is poised to make a lasting impact on the comedy genre and beyond.

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As the anticipation builds for the Houston Comedy Film Festival, all eyes are on Phil Grishayev and “A Messy Divorce,” eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners. In the meantime, audiences can experience the comedic brilliance of Grishayev’s work and witness the rise of a promising filmmaker in the entertainment industry.

He is an incredible Experiential Designer for major Paramount movie premiere sets with films apart of the Barbie franchise and Batman. Check him out here. grishayev.com

Award Winning Filmmaker, Phil Grishayev, and Hollywood Executive Producer and Houston Comedy Film Festival Director, Roselyn Omaka

From the Film Festival Circuit Founder, Mikal Fair:

Explore the ‘Film Festival Submitter’s Handbook 2024,’ your ultimate guide to conquering the film festival circuit. Whether you’re a filmmaker or screenwriter, this essential resource provides practical strategies to navigate the competitive landscape of film festivals successfully. From crafting compelling titles, taglines, and synopses to creating impactful director’s and writer’s statements, this handbook equips you with the tools to shine in the festival circuit. Learn to develop effective marketing materials, including posters and trailers, and discover the importance of communication and presenting a professional package. With insights tailored to the evolving role of social media and marketing in the film industry, this handbook is your key to festival triumph. Get your copy now and embark on your journey to festival success!

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