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Lawsuit: Lizzo Treats Dancers Bad as Hell

Plus don't eat the poisoned fish, new Vikings doc, and the Strib insults a golfer in today's Flyover news roundup.

Shawn Miller/Library of Congress|

Lizzo at the Library of Congress in 2022, playing a crystal flute that once belonged to President James Madison.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Not Good, Just Hell

Super disturbing Lizzo news today: Three former dancers are suing the locally launched pop star, along with Big Grrrl Big Touring and Lizzo's dance team captain, Shirlene Quigley. In the most shocking allegation, the women say that Lizzo forced them to eat bananas from sex workers’ vaginas during an Amsterdam trip this February, and deceived them into attending another nude show one month later. Two of the plaintiffs, Arianna Davis and Crystal Williams, were eventually fired, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court; the third plaintiff, Noelle Rodriguez, resigned in solidarity with her fellow dancers.

In addition to the Netherlands incident, the women have also accused Lizzo of "demoralizing" weight shaming and say she created a hostile work environment that included sexual, religious, and racial harassment. Quigley allegedly repeatedly preached Christianity to Rodriguez, and elsewhere in banana harassment, performed a “party trick” in which she did oral sex on a banana for the dancers. Davis claims to have felt so much workplace pressure that she once soiled herself onstage.

"The stunning nature of how Lizzo and her management team treated their performers seems to go against everything Lizzo stands for publicly, while privately she weight-shames her dancers and demeans them in ways that are not only illegal but absolutely demoralizing,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Ron Zambrano, said in a statement. Earlier today via social media, one of Lizzo's ex-dancers (Courtney Hollinquest) and her ex-creative director (Quinn Wilson) expressed solidarity with their colleagues who filed the suit.  

State Sez Forev Chems F'd Up Fish

That's the shorthand takeaway from a new Minnesota Department of Health advisory for folks to not consume Mississippi River fish caught from St. Paul to Hastings; fish from Rebecca Lake, a popular shore fishing spot near Hastings, are also affected. The culprit? High levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), aka the "forever chemicals" that 3M has poisoned the earth with for 50+ years. (The Maplewood-based industrial giant has generously pledged to stop... by the end of Q4 2025.) Specifically, Monday's fish warning is intended for people who are: under 15; pregnant, might become pregnant, or are breastfeeding; and/or are in “sensitive life stages."

But Ariana Spentzos, a scientist with the Green Science Policy Institute, tells the Minnesota Reformer that you should maybe just avoid those river fish entirely, no matter your cohort or condition. “Personally, I wouldn’t eat those fish," she says, adding that she's confused why state health officials took so long to warn people about them. Even one or two meals of PFAS-loaded fish can impact you negatively, Environmental Working Group scientist Tasha Stoiber tells the Reformer. “This is quite a concern for everyone,” she says. Forever chemicals are great when it comes to the easy production of non-stick pans, microprocessors, and batteries, Deena Winter reports, but they're also linked to "low fertility, birth defects, suppression of the immune system, thyroid disease, and various cancers." 

Massive Documentary on Vikings Misery Drops Tonight

Maybe it's for the best that a sportswriter from Kentucky has been tasked with capturing the definitive portrait of how historically soul-crushing it has been to root for the Minnesota Vikings; the emotional toll might prove too severe for a locally invested filmmaker. Tonight, via YouTube channel Secret Base, Jon Bois will continue his tragicomedy documentary series with a seven-parter on the perpetual ineptitude of our local football franchise, the plainly titled "History of the Minnesota Vikings." (Two other hard-luck teams, the Seattle Mariners and the Atlanta Falcons, have already received the Bois treatment.)

Why the Vikes? "The thing that attracted us to the Vikings was that there are more stories contained within that franchise than [documentary partner] Alex [Rubenstein] and I have ever seen in any other sports franchise, ever," Bois tells GQ. "That includes the Yankees, the 49ers, anyone you want to name." Stories like the '98 wide-left collapse, the '05 Love Boat scandal and its "running through the okra patch" implications, and the '09 Bountygate destruction of Brett Favre's body all jump to mind, and you can bet they'll be covered. Tune in at 8:

Strib Lashes out at Golfer Who Won 'No-Name Competition'

We’re all used to push notifications interrupting our lives to share BREAKING NEWS that we barely notice them, but this weekend, users of the Star Tribune app got a little jolt of attitude sent to their phones. Someone at the Strib apparently decided to vent about the fact that golfer Lee Hodges won the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine on Sunday. Soon phones throughout the metro lit up with the message: “Golfer no one has ever heard of blows out no-name competition at Minnesota’s PGA Tour event.” At least that’s what Golf Digest and the New York Post (we know) are reporting. A second alert was sent out minutes later with the much more Strib-like text “Lee Hodges completes wire-to-wire victory at 3M Open, winning by seven shots (re-sent to correct headline).” We hope whoever wrote the initial alert didn’t lose their job over this, but if you did… well, if Racket is ever hiring, look us up. You’ve got the goods, kid.  

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