Broadway performer Chad Kimball sues Come From Away producers … as he claims he was let go from musical over religious beliefs
Broadway performer Chad Kimball is suing the producers of the musical Come From Away, saying that he was let go from the production after making public comments against COVID-19 restrictions on religious services.
The Broadway performer, 45, was a member of the production from its opening in 2017, and said in legal docs that producers did not re-hire him to play the role of Kevin T. when the musical returned after Broadway reopened, and was featured in an Apple TV+ special, Deadline reported.
The Seattle native in court docs calls himself ‘a devout and practicing Christian,’ and said that he made producers ‘uncomfortable’ after speaking out publicly against mandates.
The latest: Broadway performer Chad Kimball, 45, is suing the producers of the musical Come From Away, saying that he was let go from the production after making public comments against COVID-19 restrictions on religious services
Kimball, who tested positive for coronavirus in March of 2020, made headlines last year when he took to Twitter with critical words over coronavirus mandates aimed at religious gatherings in his home state of Washington.
‘Respectfully, I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God,’ he said. ‘Folks, absolute POWER corrupts ABSOLUTELY. This is not about safety. It’s about POWER. I will respectfully disobey these unlawful orders.’
He added: ‘To be clear: nobody is going maskless. The overreach – in my opinion! – is not being able to sing even WITH a mask. No singing WITH a mask ON. Everyone will continue wearing masks. With respect and with hope and with care.’
Kimball said in legal docs filed in New York State Supreme Court that he was subsequently ‘forced to explain and defend’ his aforementioned tweets to producers of the musical.
Kimball was snapped at a Broadway event in July of 2018
Kimball participated in an outdoor concert in New York City in June of 2017
Kimball told the court that he was informed he wouldn’t be coming back to the show on January 22, 2021, as he was told that ‘production needed to focus on bringing the show back together and ensure people’s safety.’
He said that he was told by a producer that the ‘events at the Capitol, Josh Hawley, and the Conservative Christian movement were tied together and 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 told the court he asked the production’s director Christopher Ashley ‘if his termination was based upon alleged disagreement with the cast and crew or because of his religious faith,’ to which he was told, ‘Everything.’
In his suit, Kimball is asking for damages both compensatory and punitive, claiming he suffered from ‘severe emotional trauma, depression, illness, hopelessness and anxiety, loss of confidence, self-esteem and self-worth, and other irreparable harm resulting from the strain of employment controversies caused by Defendants and/or Defendants’ agents and/or employees.’
The musical reopened on Broadway last month at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, with a mandate all workers and attendees be fully vaccinated. Attendees are required to wear masks in the venue.