Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Lizzo Record Sales, Streaming, Airplay Collapse in One Day After Harassment Scandal Breaks Wide: Career Crisis


It’s been about 48 hours since news of pop star Lizzo’s scandals broke wide. She’s being sued by former dancers for misconduct and harassment. Others who worked with her are backing these people up and now more allegations are coming out.

The result is a career collapse for Lizzo. In those two days, her record sales including streaming and airplay have collapsed. Looking at numbers from Luminate, the trends have not just fallen but evaporated. It’s as if every radio has pulled Lizzo’s hits. Fans stopped streaming the records, and forget about buying them or downloading them.

This kind of thing is rare and scary. Lizzo is going to need to a massive defense and a PR campaign no one’s ever seen before. The timing couldn’t be worse because the union strikes have stopped the talk shows she might have gone on to explain or defend herself. Lizzo’s only recourse, I guess, would be a People magazine cover story. But even that is dicey at this point.

According to the Luminate numbers, Lizzo was averaging about 2,000 copies of everything included per day from last Friday. She doesn’t have a current release so those numbers are fine. However, on August 3rd her total sales dropped to just 30. That’s including streaming and downloads plus airplay. It all just went away.

The lawsuit — brought by plaintiffs Crystal Williams, Arianna Davis, and Noelle Rodriguez — alleges nine areas of misconduct. The allegations made against all three defendants include a hostile work environment that featured sexual harassment, a failure to prevent or remedy sexual harassment in the workplace, and a failure to prevent or remedy religious harassment in the workplace.

The worst of the allegations isn’t the stuff about bananas in the singers’ vaginas. What is doing Lizzo in is accusations of weight or fat shaming against the dancers. The grossly overweight singer has turned her right to be fat into her anthem. The whole gist of her career is a celebration of bodies of all sizes and shapes. If she’s guilty of demeaning women for just that, her career will be over whether or not she’s a good singer or can play the flute.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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