Here’s something you don’t see every day.
The famous Second City comedy theater in Chicago is facing a discrimination lawsuit after a former actor and writer for the group alleged that a black cast member racially discriminated against him in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Title VII indicates that no employee shall be discriminated against “based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”
White actor Scott Morehead is claiming that black cast member Aasia Bullock shot a bunch of racial slurs at him and, at one point, even tried physically intimidating him.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times:
In the suit, Morehead claims Bullock “embarked upon a campaign of racial harassment toward Morehead,” during which she allegedly called him “White Jesus” and “cracker,” threatened to “slap the s—” out of him, and physically threw her shoulder into his chest during the show.
Bullock also allegedly complained that “A Red Line” was a “white ass show”; stated she “wishes that all white people were dead,” and said Morehead should be shot.
Morehead alleges that Bullock also held up a sign during the show that said, “I hate honkies,” and said backstage that “what the audience doesn’t know is that I meant I hate white people,” according to the lawsuit.
Well, that’s not very nice.
Andrew Alexander, the owner and CEO of Second City, emailed a statement to the Sun-Times claiming that Second City runs a “safe and collaborative work environment for all our employees," but wouldn’t comment any further saying the case “is now in the courts.”
According to Bullock’s Twitter page, she is a comedian, writer, actor, dancer, singer and “twerk therapy instructor.”
Her Twitter bio also reads, “Please send all press inquiries to a black woman and have her give them to me.” Even her Twitter handle somewhat questionable -- @euthanAasia. Just adorable.
Second City is famous for its sketch comedy — so much so that “Saturday Night Live” frequently has hired some of its comedians over the years. (The SNL connection could probably give you an insight as to where Second City leans with its political humor.)
Morehead’s initial complaint to the show’s producer fell on deaf ears after she supposedly told him that she would take care of the situation.
The Sun-Times also reported:
Morehead allegedly made several other complaints during the show’s production before he was suspended indefinitely, replaced by another actor for the rest of the show’s run, and then not offered a new acting contract.
In the lawsuit, Morehead seeks unspecified damages from Second City.
The “A Red Line Runs Through it” production was at the center of criticism among cast members last year, when four people in the show’s six-member cast — including Morehead — departed in October.
It should be interesting to see where this case goes, considering we don’t often see discrimination cases quite like this.