Black Transgender Cast Member Of 'Hamilton' Says They Were Intentionally Misgendered And Harassed On Set
Reid said in the complaint that their employer "failed to act when certain actors physically threatened or intentionally and repeatedly misgendered" them.
October 14, 2021 at 10:52 pm
A Black transgender cast member of Hamilton has filed an official complaint against the musical, saying they faced harassment, threats and intentional and repeated misgendering from other cast members.
NBC News reports Suni Reid, who worked on the show for over two years, filed a Federal Civil Rights complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the parent company of the Broadway hit, Eliza Tour and Adventureland LLC, on Wednesday. Eliza Tour and Adventureland is responsible for taking care of "contractual negotiations and other corporative administrative matters."
Suni Reid filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that said Reid repeatedly was harassed by other cast members, often in the dressing spaces for male performers. https://t.co/4omJQmjnZw pic.twitter.com/7SV8vRpnt5— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 13, 2021
Reid said in the complaint that their employer "failed to act when certain actors physically threatened or intentionally and repeatedly misgendered Mx. Reid, who was open about being transgender/non-binary." They asked for management to create a gender-neutral dressing room at the Hollywood Pantages Theater, but instead of a simple refusal, Reid said the company suddenly decided not to renew their contract last month.
"Unfortunately, during Mx. Reid's years with the show, which purports to be an icon of diversity, they have experienced frequent incidents of discrimination and harassment from cast members and management of Hamilton, based upon their race, sexual orientation/LGBTQ+ status, gender, and gender identity," the complaint reads.
According to The Daily Beast, Reid joined the company in 2017. They eventually took on various roles as a performer on the production. After deciding that the alternative dressing room options provided weren't adequate, they said the company proceeded to label them as "problematic."
A Hamilton spokesperson released a statement, denying the allegations. The statement went on to say that management has taken steps to offer Reid "direct financial support, paid for their health insurance and paid for their housing."
“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," the spokesperson said. "We have not discriminated or retaliated against Suni. Since the shutdown, our organization has taken care of our community. We have treated Suni with the same respect and consideration as all the company members of Hamilton."
Lawrence M. Pearson and Lindsay M. Goldbrum, Reid's lawyers, accused the production of hypocritical practices.
“Publicly, Hamilton is a beacon of diversity and appears committed to causes seeking social justice and harmony," the lawyers said in a statement on Wednesday. "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."
"We look forward to upholding Mx. Reid’s rights and hope this is a wake-up call for the theater industry about the systemic inequities that persist even at its greatest heights," the legal team added.