Hamilton star Suni Reid, a non-binary performer who is openly transgender, is taking aim at the beloved Broadway production, claiming their contract was not renewed in retaliation over their request for a gender-neutral dressing room.
Reid — who appeared in the Broadway, Chicago and Los Angeles Hamilton productions in both ensemble and principle roles — filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint, per Deadline, with their attorneys, Lawrence M. Pearson and Lindsay M. Goldbrum, pointing out: “Publicly, Hamilton is a beacon of diversity and appears committed to causes seeking social justice and harmony.”
“Behind the curtain, however, the Company’s management will force out 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,” the lawyers reportedly declared in a statement.
“We look forward to upholding Mx. Reid’s rights,” the statement concluded, “and hope this is a wake-up call for the theater industry about the systemic inequities that persist even at its greatest heights.”
According to the complaint, Reid sought out access to a gender-neutral dressing room at the Hollywood Pantages theatre last June by making a “legally protected request.”
Reid’s attorneys noted “Hamilton suspended the renewal of Mx. Reid’s contract,” weeks after filing their request, as well as sidelined them “during rehearsals, previews, and finally opening night and beyond.”(The Award winning Broadway show began performances at the Pantages theater on August 17.)
Reid — who played George Washington, Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson — retained legal counsel in July, per the outlet, and told show runners of their legal claims of discrimination and retaliation. Two months later, production informed the Broadway star that their contract wouldn’t be renewed.
The attorneys claimed Reid had been subjected to instances of discrimination and harassment by both management and their fellow cast mates. “Certain actors physically threatened Mx. Reid or intentionally and repeatedly mis-gendered them,” the complaint cited as examples of some of the incidents, per the outlet.
According to Reid, these horrid interactions occurred in the dressing rooms for the male performers.
The complaint acknowledged production eventually provided a gender-neutral dressing room, thanks to cast member Rory O’Malley, the performer who plays King George in Los Angeles — who “generously offered to give up his dressing room.” However, the complaint stated: “the Company still would not drop its retaliatory animus toward Mx. Reid and rescinded their contract renewal offer altogether.”