WATCH: Sign language interpreter axed from Broadway show for being white sues
WATCH: Sign language interpreter axed from Broadway show for being white suesJulia Johnson
November 14, 10:47 PM November 14, 10:47 PM
A sign language interpreter was fired from Broadway’s The Lion King because he is white. Now, he’s suing.
Keith Wann is an ASL interpreter and was set to fill in on the hit Broadway show in the spring. However, soon after being offered the gig, he says he was asked to back out due to his race.
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The Theatre Development Fund’s accessibility programs sought out Wann’s services to interpret while some interpreters for the show were unavailable. “There was a team established. They were asking me to come in and help them out,” he explained on Fox & Friends Monday. He would have made $1,000 per show, according to him.
Wann’s decision to sue was made because “wrong is wrong.”
“If you insert a different color, if you insert a different race, it is wrong,” he said. “You are not allowed to fire somebody because of that reason.”
Attorney Josh Pepper said the suit is straightforward, as the emails from the fund “pretty much” outwardly admitted that the firing was due to race.
“There is a statute … that says people have the right to contract regardless of their race,” he said. “It was a Reconstruction-era statute that was intended to protect the former slaves — to protect black people from not being able to have their businesses.”
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“The statute says you can’t do that, so we want to recover the money that he would’ve been paid,” Pepper added.