A former choreographer and dancer for Justin Bieber has lambasted the pop star on social media, accusing him of degrading women and paying her “less than minimum wage.”
“I regret working under your name. I gave your universe my naive body, creativity, time and effort. Twice. For content you made millions off of. While I made zilch. Natta [sic]. Barely anything. Less than minimum wage for the hours I invested,” wrote Emma Portner on a since-expired Instagram Story.
“I couldn’t afford to eat. I was sweeping studio floors to be able to practice my own craft. The way you degrade women is an abomination.”
Portner, whose partner is actress Ellen Page, posted the accusations on the heels of Bieber expressing his support for manager Scooter Braun. Braun is currently embroiled in controversy with Taylor Swift after he purchased Big Machine Label Group, which gave him control over nearly all of Swift’s music catalog. In response to the acquisition, Swift penned a blog on Tumblr where she called out Braun for his “manipulative bullying” and said that his access to her catalog was “the worst case scenario.”
In light of Bieber backing Braun amid that drama, Portner said that Bieber collaborates with “overly problematic people” echoes even louder.
“You religiously go to a church that does not support the LGBTQ+ community,” wrote Portner. “Your company hired an out lesbian in your music video, and to choreograph some content for your purpose world tour. How do you feel about that? A lesbian, HELPING YOU, for a disrespectful amount of money, as you attend a church that goes against my existence?”
The church Portner is likely referencing is Hillsong, a contemporary Christian church frequented by the likes of Bieber, Kevin Durant, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Nick Jonas and Selena Gomez. Led by Pastor Carl Lentz, the church has been under scrutiny over the years for its polarizing belief systems. In addition to appearing to not support women in leadership at the church, in 2017, they issued a statement “urging Christians to vote against legalizing same-sex marriage in Australia.”
Portner went on say that she hopes for Bieber’s “enlightenment” and that he reads some books.
“A straight white pastor/manager can’t be your only major source of world view. I have so much to say but mostly … I really hope you educate yourself beyond your bible. You have IMMENSE power. Use it to STOP DEGRADING WOMEN.”
The choreographer also called out Bieber for working with Chris Brown despite the rape allegations made against him earlier this year.
“We should all be ‘checking on you’ and Chris Brown because you both need to be held accountable.”