Trans, Non-Binary ‘Hamilton’ Actor Says They Were Fired After Requesting Gender-Neutral Dressing Room
Former Hamilton star Suni Reid has filed a lawsuit against the production for allegedly being fired after requesting a gender-neutral dressing room.
According to a new report from Deadline, Reid, a non-binary performer who portrayed Aaron Burr, George Washington, Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in the Broadway, Chicago and Los Angeles productions of the show, has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the production company.
The legal documents claim that Mx. Reid was sidelined during rehearsals, as well as opening night, after requesting a gender-neutral dressing room during the Los Angeles Pantages Theater production. Just weeks later, in September 2021, their contract was not renewed.
Reid was reportedly subjected to repeated instances of being misgendered by cast, as well as "incidents in which certain actors physically threatened Mx. Reid."
The legal document state that Hamilton cast member Rory O'Malley, who portrayed King George, offered to give up his dressing room for Reid, but that "the Company still would not drop its retaliatory animus toward Mx. Reid and rescinded their contract renewal offer altogether."
“Publicly, Hamilton is a beacon of diversity and appears committed to causes seeking social justice and harmony,” Reid’s lawyers Lawrence M. Pearson and Lindsay M. Goldbrum of Wigdor LLP told Deadline in a statement. “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."
Reid's representation hopes that this acts as a "wake-up call" for the theater industry.
Meanwhile, Hamilton producers have denied the allegations and claim that they responded to Reid's request, in addition to allegedly offering them housing, respect and financial support.
"We have not discriminated or retaliated against Suni," Hamilton production said in a statement. "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. 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 endeavors.”