Aussie actor Linden Furnell has lost the lead role in the musical ‘American Idiot’ for making “inappropriate” comments.
He directed the comments to a female cast member on stage during a rehearsal.
Aussie actor Linden Furnell didn’t appear in opening night
Furnell played the lead role as Johnny in the production based on the songs of US band Green Day.
However, he failed to appear in the opening night performance at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne.
The production confirmed the actor’s dismissal as a result of his inappropriate comments, described as “a crude allusion to menstruation”.
Consequently, artistic director Nick Skubij said in a statement:
“Mr Furnell’s dismissal was a consequence of breaching the company’s ‘Statement of Zero Tolerance to Inappropriate Behaviour’ previously communicated to him and all other company members by company management.”
Furnell addresses controversy on Facebook
As a result of the incident, Furnell posted a message on his Facebook page.
“Some off-mic character banter takes place between us in the background.
“On one night I wasn’t careful and made a mistake.
“It was a particularly hot night in an old theatre without suitable aircon and we were both comically sweaty.
“Without thought, I made a crude allusion to menstruation among the banter.
“It was in poor taste and a lame attempt at humour.
“I made a poor judgement call, assumed too much comfort in a work friendship.
“I apologised again for the upset caused.”
Entertainment industry taking sexual harassment seriously
Miles Heffernan from Discrimination Claims said the incident is the result of previous high profile scandals.
Furthermore, he says it shows how seriously the entertainment industry is taking complaints of sexual harassment.
“After the Harvey Weinstein and Craig McLachlan scandals, Aussie productions are taking a no-nonsense approach if there is even a whiff of inappropriate conduct,” he said.
“This case should therefore ring alarm bells for anyone who is even tempted to step outside acceptable boundaries of behaviour in the workplace.”
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