Tony Award-nominated Broadway performer Chad Kimball has filed a lawsuit that alleges his bosses fired him from a hit show because he is openly Christian.
The actor, 45, had been working on the production of the show “Come From Away” for several years when he publicly criticized COVID-19 policies in his home state of Washington for preventing choirs from singing in limited church services on social media.
In a post on Twitter late last year, he accused Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee of behaving tyrannically over a policy which targeted church choirs.
“Respectfully, I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God. Folks, absolute POWER corrupts ABSOLUTELY. This is not about safety. It’s about POWER. I will respectfully disobey these unlawful orders. #inslee #Tyranny #truth,” Kimball wrote online last November.
Respectfully, I will never allow a Governor, or anyone, to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God. Folks, absolute POWER corrupts ABSOLUTELY. This is not about safety. It’s about POWER. I will respectfully disobey these unlawful orders. #inslee #Tyranny #truth pic.twitter.com/84UDiozOd1
— Chad Kimball (@chadkimball1) November 15, 2020
The tweet was not well received by many, Kimball said.
“I was confused as to why people would be so egregiously vitriolic in their responses,” he told the New York Post. “Some people told me to take the [first] tweet down or apologize. But I wasn’t going to do that. I did nothing wrong.”
When “Come From Away” returned to the stage this year, the Christian actor was no longer a member of the cast.
He told the Post he was fired because the tweet aimed at Inslee outed him as a Christian.
Kimball said his tweet created a ruckus online, and that by the time he contacted show producer Susan Frost to inform her of the online controversy, she was already aware of it.
After the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion in Washington two months after the tweet, he said Frost told him there were “concerns” 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 US Capitol.”
Frost, according to the lawsuit, told Kimball on Jan. 22 that he was being let go.
He also spoke of a conversation he said happened with “Come From Away” director Christopher Ashley after his termination: “Chris is a friend who has a brilliant theatrical mind. I asked him if the termination was because of the feelings within the cast or because of my religious beliefs. He said it was everything.”
But Kimball has vowed to fight.
“Jesus never commanded us to not defend ourselves,” he told the Post. “As Christians, we are commanded to seek out justice, truth and restoration. The law gives us opportunities to do all of those things.”
Kimball has filed a lawsuit through the firm Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, and he said he was discriminated against for his faith. His legal filing partially states he was “unlawfully terminated … because [his] religious beliefs simply made [his employers] uncomfortable.”
The lawsuit, which seeks an undisclosed sum of money, is directed at “Come From Away” production company Kiss The Cod Broadway and its parent firm Alchemy Production Group.
The actor is currently not having any lucking finding work in his field, but said he prays for those he worked with on Broadway.
“I pray for those involved with the show to have nothing but the best,” he said. “The show has an important message of accepting all who come to your door regardless of what they believe. The problem is that it did not apply to me when it should have.”
Kimball was nominated for a Tony Award in 2010 for his work on the musical “Memphis.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.