Suni Reid, a non-binary actor who left the Los Angeles production of Hamilton last month, has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming the producers didn’t renew their contract over a request for a gender-neutral dressing room. The producers, meanwhile, say they did everything possible to accommodate Reid.
As Deadline reports, Reid alleges in the complaint that they “made a legally protected request” for the gender-neutral dressing room in June, as the production prepared for its August 17 post-pandemic return to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
“Weeks later,” the filing continues, “Hamilton suspended the renewal of Mx. Reid’s contract, sidelining them during rehearsals, previews, and finally opening night and beyond.”
Reid lawyered up in late July and informed their Hamilton bosses about the discrimination complaint. In September, the producers let Reid know their contract would not be renewed. But the production claims that casting out Reid had nothing to do with the request or the complaint, though they didn’t specify why Reid—who’s been a principle and an ensemble player in the Broadway, Chicago, and L.A. incarnations of the show—wasn’t invited back.
“Suni Reid was a valued cast member for more than three years,” a statement from Team Hamilton reads. “We offered them a contract to return to Hamilton with terms responsive to their requests. We deny the allegations in the Charge. 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. 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.”
Reid’s attorneys counter that a gender-neutral room was only made available when fellow cast member Rory O’Malley, who plays King George, “generously offered to give up his dressing room, but the Company still would not drop its retaliatory animus toward Mx. Reid and rescinded their contract renewal offer altogether.”
Additionally, Reid says they were subjected to harassment and discrimination by other cast members as well as management, “including incidents in which certain actors physically threatened Mx. Reid or intentionally and repeatedly mis-gendered them.”
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