Over the past year, Lizzo has become a household name and a pop culture icon; and for good reason. She’s body-positive, writes songs about loving yourself and knowing your self-worth, and she knows how to put on a show. But that doesn’t mean she’s perfect.
Over the weekend, Lizzo was slapped with a lawsuit by the Postmates driver she publicly embarrassed on social media two months ago. Tiffany Wells, the victim, is suing Lizzo for libel, intentional emotional distress, and false light invasion of privacy.
In a now-deleted tweet posted on September 16, Lizzo wrote,
“Hey @Postmates this girl Tiffany W. stole my food she lucky I don’t fight no more.”
She also thought it would be a good idea to screenshot a picture of Tiffany to go along with the tweet.
Per Postmates policies, a driver is allowed to leave the location after five minutes if the customer can not be reached through the number they provided the driver. According to the lawsuit, Lizzo, who was under the alias “Bonnie V” and was staying at the Revere Hotel in Boston but did not provide Tiffany with a room number. Tiffany went inside the hotel and waited another five minutes for “Bonnie”.
She was unable to reach “Bonnie” after countless calls, so she left and continued on her other deliveries.
Tiffany was unaware that the customer was, in fact, Lizzo until she was was contacted by friends and family after the singer “plastered her face on the internet for all to see.”
“[m]e pulling up to Tiffany’s house and stomping on her ass bc she deprived my baby Lizzo of her food.”
While another said,
“catch me in the streets tIFFANY.”
Thankfully, many of Lizzo’s fans were disappointed with Lizzo for using her large platform to embarrass Tiffany. Lizzo apologized the next day and acknowledged that by posting Tiffany’s face publicly, she could have put her in danger. Unfortunately for Tiffany, the damage was already done.
The lawsuit states that because of the virality of the tweet and Lizzo’s influence, Tiffany refused to leave her house for fear of being recognized and harassed in public. And as a result, she had to quit her job as a Postmates driver, which was her main source of income.
“Given that Plaintiff was already the recipient of direct threats of violence, the Plaintiff also feared for her physical safety. Unsure as to what an individual or group of individuals may do to cause her harm if she were to be recognized in public, Plaintiff was scared to leave her house and as a result, was forced to stop delivering as a courier altogether- directly affecting her ability to earn a living.”
Tiffany states that because of the public nature of the situation, she’s been suffering from emotional distress, fear of physical safety, and stress and anxiety. She is even seeking a trial by jury.
Honestly, the entire lawsuit is deserved, and Lizzo needs to take responsibility for what she did to Tiffany. What if someone had found Tiffany’s location and caused her physical harm? Lizzo, and celebrities in general, need to understand the influence they have on their fans. A seemingly “harmless” tweet isn’t harmless when you have millions of fans who love you and will stand by you no matter what.
Hopefully, the case can be settled out of court, but until then, Lizzo needs to address the situation in-depth. Because writing a one-paragraph apology in a tweet two months ago won’t take away the mental anguish that Tiffany has and continues to go through.