October 19, 2021

Black Trans Actor Suni Reid Claims They Had been Reduce From ‘Hamilton’ for Demanding Gender-Impartial Dressing Room

4 min read

A transgender forged member of the hit musical Hamilton—which has been extensively held up as a champion of range—alleges they have been harassed by different performers and finally booted from the manufacturing after requesting a gender-neutral dressing room.

Suni Reid, a Black trans performer, made the damning claims in a federal civil rights complaint filed Wednesday towards the musical’s mother or father firm, outlining how they have been allegedly harassed and retaliated towards whereas engaged on the Los Angeles manufacturing.

Reid says they repeatedly confronted discrimination from different forged and crew members—together with a performer who informed them to “pray the homosexual away”—have been purposely misgendered, and bodily threatened whereas within the males’s dressing room.

They complained to administration a number of occasions, however nothing was finished, in keeping with the submitting with the ​​U.S. Equal Employment Alternative Fee. Ultimately, Reid took to social media to talk out about their expertise with the bulk white manufacturing staff.

Michele Giant, Reid’s agent, additionally contacted Hamilton administration and wrote to them that “dwelling one’s life in accordance with one’s gender id is usually vital to psychological well being.” She continued, “Suni feels strongly that returning to the theatre and rehearsals to the identical dressing room arrange as previously the place they proceed to separate the ensemble in keeping with gender is nervousness upsetting and solely exacerbates different potential opposed outcomes for the performer.”

Reid joined Hamilton as an ensemble member in 2017 and moved up the ranks to play varied roles. When it was time to debate their contract renewal round Could 2021, Reid requested to have a gender-neutral dressing room, mentioning that different castmates had expressed curiosity within the concept as properly. The Hamilton staff instructed utilizing a sheet or curtain to create a gender-neutral house inside the males’s dressing room—however Reid stated that concept wasn’t ample and doesn’t adjust to California’s transgender regulations, the criticism states.

After that, Reid claims they have been retaliated towards. Hamilton suspended their contract negotiation talks, and asserted that Reid was posting “problematic” social media posts that stalled the contract renewal course of. Consequently, Reid was unable to attend rehearsals and performances as their contract sat in limbo, in keeping with the criticism.

“Hamilton’s attacking response in labeling Mx. Reid as ‘problematic’ not solely perpetuates dangerous stereotypes, it betrays the Firm’s reflexive retaliatory impulse in response to Mx. Reid daring to query Hamilton’s social fairness bona fides and talking up towards mistreatment based mostly on their race, sexual orientation/LGBTQ+ standing, gender, and gender id,” the criticism says.

A forged member with a personal dressing room provided to share their altering space, and finally a gender-neutral dressing space was established on the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, assembly authorized necessities. However Reid claims Hamilton refused to surrender their struggle, and finally shut Reid out by ending their contract.

“Even supposing Mx. Reid desperately wished to return to work and performing and was excited to make use of the brand new dressing room that had been arrange, Hamilton terminated its contract discussions with Mx. Reid and wouldn’t carry them again,” the criticism states. “The one rationalization is that Mx. Reid was punished for making legally protected complaints and requests to the Firm.”

A Hamilton spokesperson denied the allegations, insisting Reid “was a valued forged member.”

“We provided them a contract to return to Hamilton with phrases attentive to their requests. We have now not discriminated or retaliated towards Suni. Because the shutdown, our group has taken care of our neighborhood,” the statement said. “We have now handled Suni with the identical respect and consideration as all the corporate members of Hamilton. Particularly, we now have given Suni direct monetary help, paid for his or her medical insurance, and paid for his or her housing. We want Suni properly of their future endeavors.”

Based on Reid’s criticism, they aren’t the one forged or crew member to make complaints throughout their stint with Hamilton.

A forged member of shade was allegedly fired from the manufacturing after complaining concerning the hair styling course of. She claimed there weren’t sufficient folks of shade on the hair staff to make sure their wigs could be of first rate high quality after getting used for weekly performances. After she was let go, Hamilton stated that it will look into buying extra merchandise for textured hair, in keeping with the criticism.

One other Hamilton forged member who supported Reid’s claims of racial and gender bias stated the musical’s white director critiqued the ensemble for sounding too “city” whereas singing throughout rehearsals. The performer stated that the manufacturing total “is, with out query, a Boys’ Membership rooted in poisonous masculinity and heteronormativity.”

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