The producers of Jagged Little Pill and Actors’ Equity Association have separately launched investigations into allegations of workplace mistreatment. Last week, original company member Nora Schell shared detail allegations against the company, including instances of intimidation that led to the performer postponing a surgery to receive treatment for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, and Eva Price issued a statement on Twitter, promising to look into the matter—including the hiring of workplace specialists Jay Hewlin and The Hewlin Group to conduct an external investigation and review policies. “We are deeply troubled by the recent claims that have been made by a former cast member. We met with our cast and members of our core creative team today to let them know we take this matter very seriously.”
After initially posting their story, Schell said on Twitter that the stage manager involved was a vice president of Actors’ Equity Association (Ira Mont), prompting the union’s own response. “To ensure the highest level of accountability, AEA is also commissioning a thorough, independent investigation of the Jagged Little Pill workplace,” reads a statement. “We are currently in the final phases of identifying and retaining an appropriate attorney to conduct this work."
Hours before the Tony Awards ceremony September 26, cast member Antonio Cipriano announced that he would no longer appear in the production, despite being confirmed as a returning cast member the previous week. “Broadway should be a safe space for everyone to create and experience art,” the performer wrote. “All artists deserve to exist fully and authentically. As a member of the community, I recognize my privilege and take responsibility for being part of the harm caused. Representation, mental and physical health are extremely important. I’m hopeful for a more equitable future where the right changes and protection are put into action.”
Celia Rose Gooding issued a similar statement last week, saying that she was no longer able to participate in the production. “[I] cannot ignore the harm Jagged has done to the trans and non-binary community.”
The production scored two wins, including one for Lauren Patten, who acknowledged the controversy surrounding the character of Jo and gender identity in her acceptance speech.