Trans Hamilton Actor Claims They Were Fired After Requesting Gender-Neutral Dressing Room
A transgender performer is alleging to have been fired from the Hamilton cast after asking for gender-neutral dressing room options, an accusation the production team denies.
According to a discrimination and retaliation complaint filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and published by The Hill, Suni Reid was among the cast of the New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles Hamilton productions whose contract was not renewed in September after nearly four years there. The document says the dismissal came "shortly after" Reid "requested that the performers have a gender-neutral dressing room in addition to the ones for men and women."
Reid "experienced frequent incidents of discrimination and harassment" behind the scenes of the show, the documents say, and "much of this harassment occurred in the dressing spaces for male performers that Mx. Reid had to use."
"Multiple other" cast members "expressed interest in using a gender-neutral dressing room" when Reid made a case for the accommodations being added to the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, according to the complaint.
Hamilton allegedly offered to section off part of the dressing room with a curtain, which Reid said "was not an adequate solution," prompting management to begin "looking for reasons to cut off its relationship" with Reid, the complaint alleges.
A Hamilton spokesperson said in a statement to PEOPLE, "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. We have not discriminated or retaliated against Suni."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
"Since the shutdown, our organization has taken care of our community," the statement continued. "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."
The complaint claims that accommodations were eventually made when cast member Rory O'Malley willingly gave up his private dressing room, but: "Even though Hamilton had relented and set up a gender-neutral dressing room that could be used by at least three cast members at a time, the Company's management continued to exclude Mx. Reid from performances and would not finalize their contract."
Lawrence M. Pearson and Lindsay M. Goldbrum, attorneys for Reid, said in a statement to PEOPLE, "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."