Producers of the Broadway hit musical “Jagged Little Pill” have hired an outside firm to investigate allegations of discrimination after former cast members detail “coercion” and transphobia” within the production, they said Saturday.
“We are deeply troubled by the recent claims that have been made by a former cast member,” producers Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price tweeted. “We met with our cast and members of our core creative team today to let them know we take this matter very seriously and to share with them the actions we are taking in response.”
The producers said they are launching an immediate review of the show’s policies and procedures “with the wellbeing of our employees in mind.”
“Broadway shows are by their very nature collaborative human efforts, so there is nothing more important to us than our people,” they tweeted. “We are committed to continuing to nurture a work environment where everyone feels valued and respected.”
The announcement comes after two former cast members, Nora Schell and Celia Rose Gooding, publicly shared incidents of mistreatment by stage managers and other creative leaders and harm done “to the trans and non-binary community both onstage and off.”
On Friday, Schell tweeted that they were “intimidated, coerced and forced by multiple higher ups” to postpone a necessary surgery to treat polycystic ovary syndrome and related symptoms, including severe anemia that caused heavy bleeding and left Schell feeling weak and faint on several occasions.
Despite urging from Schell’s doctor to undergo immediate surgery, stage managers “coerced and forced” Schell to continue performing.
“In the end, I was effectively coerced to go against my gynecologist’s medical advice,” Schell tweeted. “I was convinced to wait to get these growths removed. I waited over a month to get a surgery my gynecologist told me I needed IMMEDIATELY.”
Less than an hour after Schell’s post, fellow former cast member Celia Rose Gooding, who will next take on the role of Nyota Uhura in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” shared that she is leaving the musical in part “to focus more on work that I can align myself with emotionally and morally.”
“I cannot ignore the harm ‘Jagged’ has done to the trans and non-binary community, including cast members on stage, off stage, and behind the scenes in the production-making process,” Gooding tweeted. “They are owed a space to exit and perform free of transphobia, and the opportunity to tell their own stories, just as I have over the years.”