Broadway star claims he was fired for Christian beliefs

0

A Tony-nominated Broadway star is suing the hit show “Come From Away,” alleging he was fired for his Christian beliefs.

Chad Kimball claims in a new lawsuit obtained exclusively by Page Six that the production company of the popular musical “illegally terminated [him] in whole or in part because [his] religious beliefs simply made them uncomfortable.

The lawsuit also alleges that the “non-recruitment” of Kimball, 45, after appearing in 1,100 performances “was based in whole or in part on [his] religious faith. “

Kimball describes himself in court documents as a “devout and practicing Christian” who began acting on “Come From Away” in 2016. (The Canadian show made its Broadway debut in 2017.)

The lawsuit notes that Kimball previously starred in “Memphis” and “became more outspoken about his beliefs” after being injured on that show in 2010 and subsequently attributed “his recovery to his faith.”

In November 2020 – as Broadway was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and Kimball was in his hometown of Seattle – he made headlines for tweeting that he would “respectfully disobey” COVID-19 guidelines of Washington State which limited religious services.

The actor, who had previously battled the novel coronavirus, tweeted at the time: “Respectfully, I will never allow a governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone singing to worship my God People, Absolute POWER corrupts ABSOLUTELY It’s not about security It’s about POWER. I will respectfully disobey these illegal orders.

He then added about his stance on church services: “To be clear: no one goes without a mask. Overtaking – in my opinion! – it is not being able to sing even WITH a mask. No singing WITH a mask. Everyone will continue to wear masks. With respect, with hope and with care.

But in the lawsuit brought this week against Kiss the Cod Broadway Limited Partnership in the New York State Supreme Court by lawyer Lawrence Spasojevich of Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, Kimball alleges that the November tweet partly led upon termination of the program.

Spasojevich said in the lawsuit: “On November 15, 2020, Mr. Kimball tweeted from his personal Twitter account expressing his faith in God and that no one will stop him from living his faith. … Subsequently, until January 4, 2021, Mr. Kimball was compelled to explain and defend his tweet of November 15, 2020 to the agents and employees of the defendants.

Tony’s candidate claims he was contacted on January 18 by a “Come From Away” producer, who allegedly “informed Mr. Kimball that there was a question regarding Mr. Kimball’s belief as a” Conversative [sic] Christian ‘because there was a conversation around Mr. Kimball’s’ freedom to believe’ in what he believes.

Kimball asserts in court documents that the same producer “expressed the defendants’ concerns about Mr. Kimball’s” beliefs “, stating, in sum and substance, that the events on Capitol Hill, [Sen.] Josh Hawley and the conservative Christian movement were related and implied a connection between Mr. Kimball, by virtue of his faith, with the ideas and actions of the events of January 6, 2021 on the United States Capitol.

The producer reportedly “ended the conversation by stating that she did not agree with what Mr. Kimball believed, but that he was a man of integrity” and also “encouraged a” reconciliation “,” saying that it was “very important that there was a real ‘trust’ and ‘understanding’.

But Kimball alleges in court documents that a few days later, on January 22, he was told he had “not been invited back … and had been fired.”

He also claims that he was told “that there was ‘too much work to do’ and that the ‘Come From Away’ production had to focus on restoring the show and keeping people safe.”

The show reopened on Broadway last month after having been dark since March 2020.

Broadway Show "Come from afar" focuses on a group of travelers stranded on September 11.
The Broadway show “Come From Away” centers on a group of stranded travelers on September 11.
AFP via Getty Images

Kimball alleges in the lawsuit that after being fired he “expressed that he was desperate to have been fired because of his faith and said that dismissal was due in part to the” religiosity “of his tweet from November 15, 2020. “

He further claims that he spoke to the show’s director about it in February.

Kimball’s attorney said in the lawsuit: “As a result of his termination for faith, [he] felt extremely humiliated, degraded, victimized, embarrassed, emotionally distressed, extremely helpless and intimidated.

Spasojevich also alleges that his client “suffered significant economic and occupational harm, in addition to emotional and physical pain and suffering, economic losses; physical and emotional stress; and, in some cases, severe emotional trauma, depression, illness, hopelessness and anxiety, loss of confidence, self-esteem and self-esteem, and other irreparable damage resulting from stress employment controversies caused by defendants and / or agents of defendants and / or employees.

He claims compensatory and punitive damages and loss of wages as well as legal fees and costs.

A representative of the show told us, “The producers declined to comment.”

Chad Kimball
Kimball battled COVID-19 last year.
Instagram

Kimball’s tweets during the pandemic sparked an online debate with his ‘Come From Away’ co-star Sharon Wheatley, who tweeted: “I totally respect and completely disagree with you. I respectfully think you are on the wrong side. … I love you like a brother, but I don’t agree with you.

Others in the Broadway community weren’t so polite. “Frozen” star Patti Murin tweeted to Kimball: “No one said you couldn’t sing. You can sing. Alone. In your own home. Maybe for the rest of your life after that tweet.

Another star of theater and television, Colin Donnell, called Kimball’s “dumb f-king” opinions.

Before his controversial tweets, Kimball boasted on serving “the ‘common good’ by rolling up my sleeves and not relying on government to do service for me.”

He would also tweeted that he was wary of diktats, mandates and edicts.

Kimball is married to Emily Swallow, an actress in “The Mandalorian”.

After fully recovering from COVID last year, he told The Post about his struggle: “It came in waves. … Two days after I felt better, he came back roaring. It was unlike anything I had before, especially when I lost my sense of smell.

“Come From Away” – which follows a group of American travelers stranded in Newfoundland, Canada on September 11 – was recently made into an Apple TV + movie.



Source link

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply