White Sign-Language Interpreter Sues Broadway’s ‘The Lion King,’ Claims he Was Fired Because of His Race

A white sign-language interpreter is suing Theatre Development Fund for discrimination, alleging that the Broadway show fired him because of his skin color. 

Theatre Development Fund (TDF) — a nonprofit that assists Broadway shows with sign-language interpreters — asked Keith Wann, 53, and at least one other interpreter to step aside in favor of a black replacement for an April production of “The Lion King.” According to the New York Post, the organization decided it was “no longer appropriate to have white interpreters represent Black actors in Broadway shows.”

On Tuesday, Wann filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the organization and its programming director, Lisa Carling.

According to the lawsuit, Carling asked Wann and another non-black sign-language interpreter to “back out” of the show — which celebrates its 25th anniversary on Sunday — so they could be replaced by black sign-language experts.

“To me, just seeing that discrimination, it doesn’t matter if I’m white or black,” Wann told the New York Post. “This is blatant and I would just hope that other people who have also experienced this would step forward.”

Wann is a veteran sign-language interpreter who has been involved in Broadway productions for over a decade. In March, he was asked to work on one of Broadway’s most-acclaimed and longest-running shows.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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