- Todrick Hall is an entertainer who rose to prominence after making it to the semi-finals on “American Idol” and becoming a popular YouTuber, then transitioning to mainstream entertainment with “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the starring role in “Kinky Boots” on Broadway, and by collaborating with Taylor Swift.
- Hall is now facing multiple accusations of failing to pay people who have worked for him.
- A London-based videographer told Insider that Hall has failed to pay her £800 (roughly $US1,000) in the ten months since she spent more than a week recording him on a freelance basis for his YouTube channel. She also says she purchased a microphone and light for the project that Hall and his team took with them.
- Hall’s former assistant Tommy McKissock has made a slew of allegations against him.
- McKissock is distributing a copy of a 2018 legal complaint alleging sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, failure to pay overtime, failure to pay minimum wage, and breach of contract against Hall. McKissock says Hall settled earlier this year with the plaintiff, who had been the manager of Hall’s world tour for his album “Straight Outta Oz.”
- Before McKissock began posting about the accusations against Hall, Thom White, a dancer and choreographer who worked with Hall on multiple projects, also accused him of non-payment and of making anti-black comments.Hall tweeted that White “hasn’t been paid yet” but “will be.”
- Even more artists who had worked for or with Hall began accusing him of non-payment and raising other qualms, including the well-known drag queen Manila Luzon, who says Hall never paid for her to host his Halloween party in 2018. A DJ at the party and another drag performer told Insider they were never paid either.
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Accusations against the entertainer Todrick Hall are piling up on social media, with droves of people coming forward specifically to say that the YouTuber, actor, and singer-songwriter never paid them for their work.
Hall, who rose to prominence after reaching the semi-finals on season 9 of “American Idol” and since becoming a successful YouTuber, touring artist, recurring presence on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Broadway star, and most recently, a VMA Video of the Year awardee, has only publicly acknowledged one accusation.
But Hall’s former personal assistant Tommy McKissock says the accusations surfacing on Twitter are just some examples of bad behaviour Hall exhibited throughout McKissock’s tenure, which allegedly included making anti-black statements, failing or refusing to pay the people he employed, and sexual harassment, as recounted in a copy of a 2018 legal complaint McKissock has been distributing online, which has been verified by Insider.
A DJ and drag queen who worked at Hall’s “Halloween Ball” event in 2018 and a videographer who recorded footage for Hall’s YouTube channel in early 2019 both told Insider they were never paid for their services, despite repeatedly making contact with his associates, who told them that payment would eventually be made. McKissock told Insider their experiences are part of a larger pattern of unjust business practices and unethical behaviour.
Representatives for Todrick Hall didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Rumours concerning Hall’s money mismanagement have swirled since he first defended Taylor Swift against Scooter Braun
Hall made headlines in late June when one of his best friends, Taylor Swift, first publicly clashed with record executive Scooter Braun. Hall, who had previously worked with Braun,tweeted that he left him a “long time ago” because Braun is “an evil person who’s [sic] only concern is his wealth and feeding his disgusting ego.” Hall also wrote that he believes Braun is homophobic, which singer Demi Lovato then publicly disputed.
Allison Scarinzi, who has worked with Braun, replied to Hall’s tweet and accused him of “stealing from your fans on your Christmas tour.” She and Hall argued over whether Hall left Braun or Braun dropped Hall, and Scarinzi also noted that “If you want to play the screenshot game I’ve got a bunch from unpaid cast members.”
Hall then replied, “[…] just for the record, I have never stolen from anyone…just took longer than expected to pay them back.”
Braun didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, but the rumour that Hall stole money, particularly by failing to pay people who worked for him, has persisted. On October 14, choreographer Thom White tweeted a thread about working for Hall that accused him of making anti-black statements and not paying dancers, including White.
White didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment, but wrote on Twitter that Hall asked White to be in the “F*G” music video. At first, White was reluctant, after he says he took a non-paid role in “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels,” a video that has since been monetized and garnered more than 20 million views on YouTube.
On Twitter, White said Hall also made anti-black statements while filming the video, including asking for light-skinned dancers behind him in a shot because “this is looking a little too chocolate.” White says Hall said the “F*G” role would be paid, but that White was ghosted after texting Hall multiple times and asking who to contact for payment.
Hall responded to White on Twitter and wrote “My comment; I adore Thom, like LOVE him. This is surprising to me, he hasn’t been paid yet, he will be…not because he’s trying to ‘expose’ me but because he deserves it. I only got two texts, no calls, I was over seas opening my tour & that video has only been out for 2 weeks.”
That tweet spawned several more accusations, including a follow-up to White’s thread. As of October 21, White says Hall has still not paid him. In addition, White posted a screenshot of a status he says Hall posted to his private Facebook account attacking White and saying “Unless you’re a stripper, you just don’t get paid immediately in LA, ever.”
Hall’s former assistant says the entertainer has failed to pay many employees, including dancers, DJs, and a videographer
McKissock, Hall’s former assistant, told Insider that he stopped working for Hall in January 2019 after Hall failed to meet a promised deadline to reimburse him for two months’ worth of expenses, including his own backpay. McKissock says Hall eventually paid him what he was owed, after McKissock pressured him to do so via text messages.
Soon after White posted his thread about working with Hall, McKissock began tweeting multiple accusations against him and others as well, including that one of Hall’s friends and fellow “You Need to Calm Down” star Chester Lockheart assaulted McKissock on the “Straight Outta Oz” tour in 2016.
McKissock told Insider that, after telling Hall that Lockheart put his hand down McKissock’s pants and grabbed his genitalia, “I was punished by Todrick for it.” McKissock says Hall threatened to “expose him” on the internet, including by posting instructions for his fans to attack McKissock if he accused Hall of misconduct.
He also says Hall threatened his career and intimidated him over the years McKissock worked for him as an executive assistant, but also as a producer for his YouTube channel and “Forbidden” album, along with being a tour assistant and film production assistant for “Straight Outta Oz” and “Netflix’s Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall.”
McKissock is now leaving the entertainment industry to pursue becoming a personal fitness trainer and entrepreneur, and says he is “ok with his fans attacking me because it is worth exposing the truth.”
“I want to expose Todrick and Chester because they are men in power who have a history of exploiting others for their own professional gain. I was silenced for years based on intimidation and threats to my career. I no longer fear the repercussions of speaking out,” McKissock told Insider.
Lockheart didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Apart from McKissock, Insider spoke with three others who have worked for Hall and say they were never paid for their services. One, Travis Holcombe, says he and a coworker, DJ Josh Peace, DJed “throughout the night” at Hall’s 2018 “Halloween Ball” event. A poster for the event includes both DJs’ names.
Holcombe told Insider that “I didn’t know who Todrick was when I agreed to do the event, but it seemed legit. They even had me sign a contract before the event, stipulating that I would be paid within five days of the event.”
He says he reached out to a representative of Todrick Hall Events, who repeatedly said payment would be made “tomorrow,” but it never arrived. Holcombe says he never dealt with Hall directly, and that every associate of Hall’s was “super apologetic” until they finally stopped responding to him altogether.
“I have a contract and I considered small claims. It seemed pretty open and shut, but even if I win, I’d be back at square one trying to actually collect the money,” Holcombe told Insider.
Multiple well-known drag queens also made appearances at the event. One, Manila Luzon, tweeted that Hall still owed her payment and including a picture of the two at the event. Hector Franco, who performs drag as Kiki Xtravaganza, told Insider that he was hired for the event and additionally hired Peace, Luzon, and the drag queens Loris and Gottmik.
Franco says Loris and Gottmik were paid, but that he, Luzon, and Peace never recieved payment and are owed more than $US2,000 combined. Franco stopped trying to seek payment after six months.
A London-based videographer named María Mendia also told Insider that she is owed £800, or roughly $US1,000, for filming Hall for his YouTube channel between December 29, 2018, and January 7, 2019.
At the time that Mendia worked for Hall, McKissock was still Hall’s executive assistant. Mendia communicated with McKissock, who provided Insider with an invoice Mendia sent him. As late as July, the email chain shows McKissock sending the invoice to Hall directly and asking that Mendia get paid.
“I didn’t make a big deal of this because I thought my payment was a weird case,” Mendia told Insider. “I even paid for a microphone and some light that they were going to use […] I paid for it and they took both things with them.”
Similarly to Holcombe, Mendia never discussed payment with Hall directly. Rather, she repeatedly attempted to make contact with his assistants and his business manager, who were apologetic – one even told Mendia she was “not the only one” seeking payment for work done for Hall.
Since acknowledging White, Hall has not publicly addressed any of the accusations. He replied to one commenter on Instagram and said “I DO PAY MY DANCERS unless I tell them there’s no pay in which case they chose to come and volunteer their gift and talent which I have done several times.”
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