“We are deeply disturbed by the recent statements of a former actor. We met with our cast and members of our core creative team today to let them know that we take this matter very seriously and to share with them the actions we are taking in response, ”Lead Producers Vivek J. Tiwary , Arvind Ethan David and Eva Price said in a statement on Saturday.
According to the statement, outside company Jay Hewlin and The Hewlin Group will investigate “the incident and those involved.” The producers also announced that they are immediately launching an external review of the show’s policies and procedures.
“Broadway shows are inherently collaborative human endeavors, so there is nothing more important to us than our people,” the producers said. “We are committed to continuing to foster a work environment where everyone feels valued and respected. “
The statement follows former actress and non-binary actress Nora Schell alleging in a social media post mistreatment by stage management and other members of the show’s creative direction, the nominated actress aux Tony and former actress Celia Rose Gooding pointing out “harming the trans and the non-binary community both on and off stage” as part of why she left production.
The producers did not specify which of the two claims they were responding to.
In her own statement Friday on Twitter, Gooding, who was recently announced to play Uhura in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, said she had partially retired from the show “to focus more on work that I can align myself with emotionally and morally.”
– celia r. hello (@celiargooding) September 24, 2021
“I cannot ignore the evil Shredded did to the trans and non-binary community, including actors onstage, offstage and behind the scenes of the production process, ”she wrote. “They owe them a space to exist and perform without transphobia and the ability to tell their own stories, just like I have done over the years. “
In a longer statement also posted on Twitter on Friday, Schell alleges that despite many efforts to communicate with the musical’s creative team about their polycystic ovary syndrome and associated symptoms, as well as to keep them updated on their treatment as it might have impacted their ability to perform, they say their messages were not conveyed to creative leadership. Further, once they clearly explained the evolution of their medical situation, Schell alleges that creative leadership “effectively coerced” them into going against the advice of their healthcare professional and delaying a treatment. surgery required.
During the JAGGED LITTLE PILL series premieres on Broadway, I was intimidated, coerced and forced by several supervisors to postpone the surgery CRITICAL AND NECESSARY to remove the growths from my vagina that was making me anemic. The surgery my doctor told me was urgent. READ BELOW: pic.twitter.com/bqM4OOzHa3
– Nora Schell (@noritachiquita) September 24, 2021
Schell identifies scene management as the first point of contact, alleging that in 2019 the actor disclosed details of his ongoing care for PCOS. This included communication about a previous surgery, medications, and related anemia. Schell says they were told this information would be relayed to the creative team by management on multiple occasions following in-person and email communications.
They describe cases of “entering and exiting consciousness” and almost losing balance on stage – the result of their anemia caused by blood loss for more than four weeks – during a rehearsal. That’s when they say it became clear that creative leadership had not been made aware of the issue or previous attempts at communication by stage management. But once they did, they say they collapsed on the stairs the same day, after being ordered to ‘take a nap’ instead of going home and receiving medical treatment. emergency.
When they return, they say the treatment and response to their medical care has not improved. During their recovery, they were “intimidated” by the management of the company, their recovery period “diminished and rejected”. They said they were also told that they would not be paid if they took personal days, that they were “exasperated” and that they were told that future days off due to their PCOS “would not be considered paid medical leave”.
On Friday afternoon, Actor’s Equity issued a statement noting that they are “deeply concerned about the revelations @noritachiquitaAnd that they “take a look at everything they put forward” and “recognize that it was a really painful experience that shouldn’t have happened.”
We are deeply concerned about the revelations @noritachiquitastatement released today. We take a look at everything they presented. We recognize that it was a really painful experience that shouldn’t have happened. pic.twitter.com/uJB8jqygoe
– Actors’ equity (@ActorsEquity) September 24, 2021
The allegations follow a lengthy statement from the show’s lead producers on September 17, apologizing for the way his team publicly discussed and then presented a character’s gender journey on the show during his transition from Boston to Broadway. The statement also included several commitments and announcements regarding significant production changes regarding the show’s casting, writing, and creative environment that were put in place to ensure that on-screen and off-screen processing of the stories non-binary and trans and members of the production is fair, genuine and safe.