Broadway star Chad Kimball has filed a lawsuit against the producers of the stage musical Come from Away, alleging he wasn’t rehired for the show’s post-pandemic return due to his Christian beliefs.
The actor alleged that producers questioned him about his public opposition to Washington state’s COVID-19 restrictions on churches and that they also implied that his faith was somehow connected to the January 6 riots on Capitol Hill, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by Breitbart News.
In the lawsuit, which was filed in New York State Supreme Court, Chad Kimball said producers didn’t rehire him for the show’s Broadway return in September or the show’s Apple TV+ special, even though he had a main role in the original cast.
He alleged his religious views made producers “uncomfortable” and that they unlawfully terminated him “wholly or partly” based on his faith.
Kimball garnered widespread attention in November last year when he publicly spoke out against Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) order against singing in churches, saying he would “respectfully disobey” the restriction.
The actor’s tweets prompted harsh criticism from fellow Broadway actors, who mocked Kimball and accused him of selfishness.
In January, the actor alleged he was “forced to explain and defend” his tweets to the Come From Away production. He was also contacted by Susan Frost, a producer on the musical, who informed Kimball that there was a question regarding his beliefs as a “conservative Christian.”
Frost allegedly suggested to Kimball that the “events at the Capitol, Josh Hawley, and the Conservative Christian movement were tied together.” She also implied a “connection between Mr. Kimball, by virtue of his faith, to the ideas and actions of the January 6, 2021 events at the U.S. Capitol.”
Kimball alleged that he asked the show’s director, Christopher Ashley, if he was being fired because of his religious faith, and that the director responded, “everything.”
On January 22, Kimball was told he would not be invited back to the show when it reopened because the “production needed to focus on bringing the show back together and ensure people’s safety,” according to the filing.
Come from Away resumed performances at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in New York on September 21. The producers have declined to comment, a production spokesperson told Breitbart News.
Kimball is seeking unspecified punitive and compensatory damages, as well as lost wages. The actor received a Tony Award nomination for his lead performance in the musical Memphis in 2010 and has performed in several other Broadway productions.