Black actress sues for racial discrimination after being denied wig on Broadway tour

Actress Zuri Washington was axed from her role on the Broadway revival of “1776,” a diversely cast play around the white, male Founding Fathers and how they finalized the Declaration of Independence, LA Times reports. Washington, who played the role of Robert Livingston, filed a lawsuit this week accusing the tour’s production companies, NETworks Presentations and 1776 Touring, and several of their employees of retaliating against her after she complained about her hair preferences that she claims went ignored.

Washington claims she was terminated after threatening to submit a formal report of discrimination.

“I could have done things differently, perhaps. But what they did to me is like a legal version of tone-policing, and like I’m being constantly punished for existing and telling my truth.”

Washington recalls contacting the tour’s management about finalizing a hair plan after she was cast as Livingston in December 2022. The actress says she told the tour’s associate hair designer about her discomfort with wearing her natural hair onstage and instead requested a wig or a braided protective style for her locs.