Kanye West is facing two class-action lawsuits from workers at his Christian opera Nebuchadnezzar. The lawsuit details various grievances surrounding their treatment and pay on the show. The rapper is accused of owing "unpaid wages", failing to pay minimum wage and overtime, and refusing to provide appropriate meal and rest breaks when he hosted a series of shows at the Hollywood Bowl last year.
Kanye premiered Nebuchadnezzar in November 2019 with Mary, a second Christian opera, a month later. Documents where obtained by The Blast and reveal that Kanye and Live Nation are being sued by multiple workers on the production, alleging “unpaid wages, continuing wages, damages, civil penalties, statutory penalties and attorney’s fees and costs.”
New details by Vice reveal that the first lawsuit stems from crew members hired for Nebuchadnezzar, with the second arriving from the performers themselves. The legal action could reportedly amount to $1 million in damages against Kanye.
According to both, Kanye misclassified the people he hired as independent contractors, rather than employees, meaning the rapper avaided thousands of dollars in taxes, as well as Californian labour laws that would require him to provide workers with basic privileges.
Kanye has yet to respond to the allegations.