A transgender and non-binary actor has stepped forward claiming they faced retaliation from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton production after asking for a gender-neutral dressing room.
Suni Reid, who toured with the Broadway musical in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint.
According to Suni, they requested the dressing room in June 2020 during the L.A. production when the performers were doing shows at the famous Hollywood Pantages Theatre.
Pointing out the irony in the case, Suni's lawyers Lawrence M. Pearson and Lindsay M. Goldbrum released a scatching statement.
“Publicly, Hamilton is a beacon of diversity and appears committed to causes seeking social justice and harmony,” the statement read. “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.”
After requesting the gender-neutral dressing room, Suni's attorneys claim the production sabotaged their client. "Hamilton suspended the renewal of Mx. Reid’s contract, sidelining them during rehearsals, previews, and finally opening night and beyond," Pearson and Goldbrum allege.
According to the complaint, Suni obtained legal counsel in July and informed the production of the discrimination and retaliation accusations.
In September of this year, Suni was reportedly told their Hamilton contract would not be renewed.
The complaint also states that production eventually provided a gender-neutral dressing room but it wasn't until one cast member offered to give Suni his.
Rory O’Malley — known for playing 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 Reid and rescinded their contract renewal offer altogether," the complaint reads.
Suni also alleges they were discriminated by the cast members and management, proving an example of alleged incidents "in which certain actors physically threatened Mx. Reid or intentionally and repeatedly mis-gendered them.”
Hamilton denies all of Suni's accusations, telling Radar that production offered them a contract to return.
"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," a representative for Hamilton 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. 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.”