Actors, stylists, and hairdressers are claiming they’re still owed payment and penalities from the 2019 performance.
While actively waging war against major labels for the unfair treatment of musicians and producers, Kanye West has been hit with a $1,000,000 lawsuit for unpaid wages.
According to The Blast, a hair assistant is joined by “dozens of other persons who performed services on the production” in a class-action lawsuit against the rapper for underpaying or failing to pay altogether his staff for their roles in his 2019 opera, Nebuchadnezzar. In the suit, the hair assistant alleges personnel on Nebuchadnezzar “oversaw, controlled and ran the production,” for all performances. It adds, “the aggrieved employees worked many hours on the production and were not timely paid for their work, or paid at all.” West and his team have yet to offer comment on the suit or its claims.
The Nebuchadnezzar opera performances took place at The Hollywood Bowl at the end of 2019. The production was directed by Vanessa Beecroft, starred a disgraced Sheck Wes in the title role, featured a score by West’s Sunday Service Choir, and was live-streamed exclusively via TIDAL.
The class-action suit arrives on the heels of a failed bid for president, in which the rapper poured millions into a campaign that only landed his name on a handful of state ballots that amounted to just 60,000 votes on Election Day. During his campaign, Kanye reportedly employed a firm that aided the rise of the far-right in Sweden and was effectively breeding conservative activists on this side of the pond. And though he bowed out of the 2020 election (which marked the rapper’s first time ever voting in an election,) West is already claiming to be shooting his shot again in 2024. Stay tuned for that spectacle and updates on the suit in the weeks and months ahead.