Black Transgender Hamilton Star Slams Producers For Alleged Discrimination And Harassment
A Black transgender actor has taken aim at the producers of Hamilton with allegations of discrimination and harassment.
Suni Reid, who uses they/them pronouns, first joined the cast of the hit musical back in 2017, playing a number of roles including Aaron Burr and George Washington across Broadway, Los Angeles and Chicago productions.
However, just last month, they were told their contract wasn’t going to be renewed. Reid believes the decision is connected to their request for a gender-neutral dressing room on set at the Pantages Theatre.
Reid has since filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint in LA, alleging co-stars ‘physically threatened’ them and ‘intentionally and repeatedly mis-gendered them’.
‘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,’ Reid’s solicitor said in a statement, as per The Independent.
The actor made a ‘legally protected request’ for a gender-neutral dressing room, after which they were allegedly ‘sidelined during rehearsals, previews and finally opening night and beyond’ before suspending the renewal of their contract, according to the complaint.
‘We look forward to upholding Mx Reid’s rights and hope this is a wake-up call for the theatre industry about the systemic inequities that persist even at its greatest heights,’ their solicitor added.
Hamilton‘s producers have denied the accusations. ‘Suni Reid was a valued cast member for more than three years. We offered them a contract to return to Hamilton with terms responsive to their requests. We deny the allegations in the charge,’ they said.
‘We have not discriminated or retaliated against Suni. Since the shutdown, our organisation has taken care of our community. We have treated Suni with the same respect and consideration as all the company members of Hamilton.
‘Specifically, we have given Suni direct financial support, paid for their health insurance, and paid for their housing. We wish Suni well in their future endeavours.’
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers
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