HomeAmericaFormer 'Hamilton' cast member files discrimination complaint against show

Former ‘Hamilton’ cast member files discrimination complaint against show

A former “Hamilton” cast filed a federal workplace complaint against the show on Wednesday, alleging that the show retaliated after the actor requested a gender-neutral dressing room and refused to renew the contract. Gave.

In a complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, attorneys for former cast member, Suni Reid (who prefers the pronoun they/them), said she was sidelined and eventually moved to request a gender-neutral location in September. After let go. The Pantage Theater in Los Angeles where “Hamilton” was playing.

In the 28-page complaint, Reid, a black, non-binary artist who has performed with the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles productions of “Hamilton” since 2017, accused several others of discrimination and harassment by artists and management over the years. Examples are outlined. , which includes episodes in which Reed said she was physically threatened or deliberately and repeatedly misrepresented.

The complaint states that Reed intends to eventually pursue legal claims in federal court. Filing a discrimination and retaliation charge with the EEOC is a precursor to filing such a lawsuit.

“In public, ‘Hamilton’ is an icon of diversity and is committed to seeking social justice and harmony,” Reid’s attorneys Lawrence M. Pearson and Lindsey M. Goldbrum said in a statement. “Behind the scenes, however, the company’s management would exclude a black, transgender cast member simply because they stood up for themselves and advocated for a more equitable workplace, and therefore called that public image into question.”

“We look forward to upholding Reed’s rights and hope this is a wake-up call for the theater industry about systemic inequalities that persist even at its greatest heights,” the statement continued.

In its own statement, “Hamilton” said Wednesday that Reed has been “a valuable artist” over the years and that the show “offered him a contract to return to ‘Hamilton’ with terms responsive to his requests.” did.”

“We deny the allegations in question,” Show said. “We haven’t discriminated against or retaliated against Suni.” During the bandh, it said, “We have given direct financial assistance to Suni, paid for his health insurance, and paid for his accommodation. We wish Suni all the best in her future endeavours.”

According to the complaint, Reid has also performed in ensemble roles such as Aaron Burr, George Washington, Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson.

It comes as Broadway and touring shows are working to gain a foothold after a protracted pandemic-related shutdown. Earlier this summer, several shows like “Hamilton” were preparing to resume, some of Broadway’s most powerful players. signed an agreement Pledge to strengthen the industry’s diversity practices.

But Reed’s complaint paints a picture of a toxic workplace environment in “Hamilton” that extends from coast to coast.

Reid was cast in the Broadway production of the show in 2017. And according to the complaint met with enmity from the beginning. Reid eventually requested a transfer from the Broadway production and began with the Chicago company “Hamilton” in March 2019, according to the complaint, and came out publicly as transgender and gender-nonconforming. He was consistently misrepresented by coworkers, “at times in an obviously hostile or harsh manner,” according to the complaint.

The complaint states that by 2020, Reid had begun rehearsing for the Los Angeles company, but was never able to join the Los Angeles cast in performances.

In May, Reid was presented with a contract renewal for “Hamilton”. Around that time, he asked his agent, Michelle Large, to request a gender-neutral dressing room in the Pantages that Reid and others could use. According to the complaint, “Hamilton” officials raised concerns about Reed’s published posts on social media describing racial equity issues on the show.

The show would eventually agree to establish gender-neutral dressing spaces in every “Hamilton” theater. But in the fall, after Reed’s lawyers informed the show that he had legal claims of discrimination, the show told Reed’s lawyers that Reed was “no longer open” to performing in Hamilton and “his contract”. Renewal was not “an option now,” the complaint said.

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