news

Trans, non-binary Hamilton actor alleges they were axed over gender-neutral dressing room request

Suni Reid, who's performed multiple roles in the show for three years, was let go last September.

2021-10-18

Words: Alastair James; Image: YouTube, StyleLikeU

A trans non-binary actor in the hit musical Hamilton, Suni Reid, has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint against the show's producers arguing that their contract wasn't renewed because they asked for a gender-neutral dressing room. 

The actor, who's appeared in the show in multiple roles on Broadway, in Chicago and Los Angeles (where the request was made) made the said request last June at the Hollywood Pantages theatre.

However, weeks later their contract was not renewed, and they claim to have been sidelined in rehearsals and during performances. 

"This is a wake-up call for the theater industry"

As reported by Deadline, Reid's lawyers have said: "Publicly, Hamilton is a beacon of diversity and appears committed to causes seeking social justice and harmony.

"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."

In a statement provided to Deadline, Hamilton's producers denied the allegations and said they had provided the actor with financial support, housing and respect.

They said Suni Reid has been "a valued cast member for more than three years,” and that they were offered a contract that was "responsive to their requests." 

The actor was told in September 2020 that their contract has not been renewed, even after they did provide a gender-neutral dressing room, which only happened once another actor offered to give up their dressing room. 

Reid also alleges they were misgendered by cast and management during their time with the show.

The Attitude Awards issue is out now.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £1 each, or digitally for just over £1.50 per issue.