Just hours after Lizzo was hit with a second lawsuit involving claims of creating a hostile work environment, the star accepted the Quincy Jones Humanitarian Award at the Black Music Action Coalition gala in Los Angeles.
After skipping the red carpet portion of the evening, Lizzo took the stage at the Beverly Hilton hotel after an introduction by a group of her Big Grrrl dancers. She wiped away tears and told the audience, “I really needed this right now.” God’s timing is on time.”
“I haven’t written a speech because I don’t know what to say in times like these,” Lizzo continued, thanking BMAC for the honor and noting that this award was different from others she has won because “humanitarianism in its very nature is ungrateful, it is selfless. Being kind to someone is not a talent; anyone can do it, it is a gift you give.” She highlighted the work that full-time humanitarians do every day that goes unrecognized, “and that is why I have dedicated my life, and I have decided to share my platform, to shine a light on those people, because I want so much to live in a world where we reward goodness with our attention.”
After calling out the Black-led organizations she made a $250,000 donation to earlier this year, Lizzo noted that she wanted to say one more thing. “It’s easy to do the right thing when everyone is watching, and what you do in those moments when no one is watching defines who you are,” she said. “And I remain who I am, no matter who is watching. I continue to shine a light on the people who help people because they deserve it. I will continue to amplify the voices of marginalized people because I have a microphone and I know how to use it. And I’m going to continue to attract and represent and create safe spaces for black, fat women, because that’s what the hell I do. It is my goal and it is an honor.”
Earlier on Thursday, the singer’s former tour stylist filed a lawsuit accusing Lizzo and Big Grrrl Big Touring supervisors of sexual and racial harassment, disability discrimination, retaliation and assault. It builds on previous allegations, filed in August, by a trio of former tour dancers who are suing Lizzo over claims that she questioned them about their weight and pressured them to perform sexually explicit acts during sex shows.