Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill star Antonio Cipriano announced he is exiting the show, after suggesting that Broadway is not a “safe space” for transgender, non-binary, and marginalized people.
The show’s producers are being accused of inflicting “harm” on transgender and non-binary people, according to a report by People Magazine.
“Broadway should be a safe space for everyone,” Cipriano said in a Sunday statement announcing that his performance with the cast of the 74th Tony Awards on Sunday would be his last. “After four years of being with Jagged Little Pill, the Tony’s tonight will be my final performance with the show,” the actor wrote. “I have to acknowledge the harm that many trans + non-binary, and all marginalized folks, on-stage cast members and off have endured throughout the years.”
— ANTONIO CIPRIANO (@AntonioCip_) September 26, 2021
“Broadway should be a safe space for everyone to create and experience art,” Cipriano continued.
Cipriano went on to say that “representation, mental and physical health are extremely important.”
Cipriano is not the only star of Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill to wield such allegations against the show’s producers.
On Friday, actress Celia Gooding also announced that Sunday’s awards show would be her last.
— celia r. gooding (@celiargooding) September 24, 2021
The actress went on to say that she “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’s exit from the show, however, was previously announced after she was cast in the upcoming Paramount+ prequel series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, reports People.
Non-binary actor Nora Schell has also called out Jagged Little Pill staffers on Friday, claiming she was “heavily pressured and eventually asked to wait to get NECESSARY surgery to remove polyps from my vagina.”
During previews for the Broadway run of JAGGED LITTLE PILL I was intimidated, coerced and forced by multiple higher ups to put off CRITICAL AND NECESSARY surgery to remove growths from my vagina that were making me anemic. Surgery my doctor told me was urgent. READ BELOW: pic.twitter.com/bqM4OOzHa3
— Nora Schell (@noritachiquita) September 24, 2021
Jagged Little Pill‘s lead producers responded to the backlash in a statement on Saturday, stating they would be conducting a “comprehensive investigation” into the incident.
“We are deeply troubled by the recent claims that have been made by a former cast member,” the producers said. “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.”
Statement from Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price, Lead Producers of Jagged Little Pill pic.twitter.com/yHmDjE1Uxc
— Jagged Little Pill (@jaggedmusical) September 25, 2021
In a separate statement a few weeks ago, the show’s producers also addressed backlash they faced over a character, Jo Taylor, who was originally written and played as non-binary, but was later depicted as a cisgender gay female when the show went to Broadway.
“In Jo, we set out to portray a character on a gender expansive journey without a known outcome,” the producers explained. “Throughout the creative process, as the character evolved and changed — we made mistakes in how we handled this evolution.”
— Jagged Little Pill (@jaggedmusical) September 17, 2021
“Compounding our mistake, we then stated publicly and categorically that Jo was never written or conceived as non-binary,” they added. “That discounted and dismissed what people saw and felt in this character’s journey. We should not have done that. We should have protected and celebrated the fact that the non-binary audience members saw in Jo a bold, defiant, complex, and vibrant representation of their community,” the producers said. “For all of this we are deeply sorry.”