Actor Chad Kimball is suing the Broadway show Come From Away. He claims that he was fired by the show for his religious beliefs.
According to the actor and his lawyer, Chad Kimball was fired because his Christian beliefs made people involved with Come From Away uncomfortable. The lawsuit was filed this week in the New York Supreme Court and it was filed against Kiss the Cod Broadway Limited Partnership along with Come From Away.
His lawyer, Lawrence Spasojevich, said that his client was “made to suffer significant economic and professional harm, in addition to emotional and physical pain and suffering, economic loss; physical and emotion stress; and, in some instances severe emotional trauma, depression, illness, hopelessness and anxiety, loss of confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.”
The problems between the actor and the Broadway community started in November 2020 when Chad Kimball tweeted a series of tweets regarding the new regulations that the Governor of Washington was putting on religious gatherings and told social media that he was going to “respectfully disobey them.”
The actor later added to the tweet and said, “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.”
On January 4 2021, Kimball said that he was contacted by the producer of the Broadway show and asked to explain his tweet and his stance on the subject. Court documents also show that on a later date Kimball also claims that that same producer made alleged connections between the actor and the events on the Capitol during January 6 2021.
Later, on January 22 2021, he was asked not to return to the production once they reopened
Kimball had worked on over 1,000 shows of Come From Away and his lawyer is claiming that the production’s “failure to re-hire,” him is solely based on his Christian beliefs. The lawsuit claims that when Kimball asked director Christopher Ashley if he was being fired for his religious beliefs, the director responded and said, “everything.”
The Come From Away producer and director have yet to comment on the lawsuit or the firing of Chad Kimball.
After Kimball’s tweets in November 2020, he also received a lot of backlash from fellow Broadway actors. The original tweet received over 1.4K comments.
Fellow Come From Away actress Shannon Wheatley wrote, “I respectfully totally and completely disagree with you. I respectfully feel you are very much on the wrong side of this. I FaceTimed with you when you had Covid, Chad. You were very sick. I remember. It scared me. I love you like a brother, but I disagree with you.”
Some responses were less polite. Broadway star Colin Donnell responded to the tweet and said, “Tried to think of something clever to say but just got more and more angry. 246,000+ dead Entire industries shut down, including the one you’re in. A medical community full of people putting their lives on the line to take care of others, including you. This is fucking moronic.”
After the Covid-19 pandemic first started back in March 2020, the Broadway industry shut down until further notice. Millions of actors and other Broadway workers were out of their jobs and struggled to find work to support themselves. Come From Away just recently announced that it would be opening shows to the public since closing in March 2020.