Kanye West could lose up to $30 Million after being sued in two class-action lawsuits. The accusations include the alleged mistreatment and non paying of nearly 1,000 performers and employees of his Sunday Service events. Frank Kim, Los Angeles based employment lawyer, has filed one lawsuit on behalf of over 500 performers.
Harris & Ruble are behind a second lawsuit, which the entertainment lawyers filed on behalf of crew and staff, totaling in roughly 300 people.Kanye West’s first opera Nebuchadnezzar, is where the attorneys for the crew members allege that the issue stems from. This performance took place at L.A.’s The Hollywood Bowl in November 2019.
Its alleged that West didn’t pay hairstylists, makeup artists, or costume designers on time or at all. It’s also alleged that he didn’t pay them overtime wages and did not allow them to take meal breaks for over 100 people.
Hairstylist Raina Leon is representing employees from the backstage area in the suit and has stated in court documents filed in July that it took 120 days to be paid the $550 that she was owed. Upon receiving the check, she and several others were also charged $20 to cash it.
Those in the class action suit are being represented by Michael Pearson. He and other in his role worked for over two days with no rest of meal breaks and were only paid $550 despite whatever hours they may have worked. He also noted that many performers sat on the floor for over 10 hours because the venue was short on seating. They were also forced to walk back to their vehicles afterwards because they were not provided a shuttle bus back to the parking lot, despite one driving them to the venue initially.
Lawyers are seeking others victims to join the lawsuits. with one source stating, “They’ve got hundreds of people on board already, but they’re talking to many, many others, who want to be a part of it. People are very upset how they were treated, saying it’s their worst experience. People in the lawsuit are asking their friends who’ve worked on previous Sunday Services, and they’re jumping at the chance, they want to get involved and talk about their horrible time.”
Another person close to those suing added: ‘When you do things last minute, it’s disorganized, mistakes will happen. When Kanye West does a production, he just says to his guys: ‘Make it happen,’ he has different teams of people to do things, and when you’re under that amount of pressure, you cut corners. Anything with film or music production, they do the art first, it’s a case of ‘let’s get the production done and worry if it’s legal later.”