CHICAGO (CN) – A white Second City actor sued the famous Chicago comedy club, claiming he was cut from a show after complaining that a black cast member called him “White Jesus” and said she wishes that all white people were dead.
Scott Morehead, the only white, male actor in Second City’s 2016 production “A Red Line Runs Through It,” sued the comedy club Monday in Chicago federal court.
He claims he “faced a series of racial slurs from an African American cast member and his complaints to the company resulted in failed promises to resolve the situation.”
“A Red Line Runs Through It” was a highly politically charged, hard-hitting comedy show about race, gender, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “F-words and n-words erupt,” the Chicago Sun Times said in its review that labeled the show “highly recommended.”
The cast reportedly consisted of Morehead, two white women, two black women, and one Asian man.
The Sun Times reported in October 2016 that four actors left the show before the end of its run, including Morehead and his alleged harasser, Aasia Lashay Bullock.
One actor who quit, Peter Kim, said he left due to the audience’s “increasingly racist, homophobic, and misogynistic comments,” which he characterized as “audience abuse” in an essay published in Chicago Magazine.
Kim blamed President Donald Trump for giving hateful views a platform and breaking the taboo on expressing racist views in public.
But Morehead says in his lawsuit that he did not quit, but was suspended after complaining that Bullock had “embarked on a campaign of racial harassment,” including calling him “White Jesus,” threatening to “slap the shit” out of him, and telling him that she “wishes that all white people were dead.”
Bullock allegedly held up a sign during a show that said “I hate honkies,” then explained backstage that “what the audience doesn’t know is that I meant I hate white people,” according to the complaint.
Morehead says he made a formal complaint of discrimination to the show’s producer, but Second City took no action.
He “was not offered a new acting contract as he would otherwise have expected and was told would happen before he made his complaint of discrimination,” according to the seven-page complaint.
Morehead seeks punitive damages for claims of race discrimination and retaliation, plus back pay. He is represented by Aaron B. Maduff with Maduff & Maduff in Chicago.
Bullock is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Second City did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.