Fired While Pregnant: Cortney Wolfson Claims She Lost 'Romy and Michele' Role Due to Pregnancy

Photo: (Photo : Boris Gonzales/Pixabay)

"Romy And Michele" stage actress Cortney Wolfson has revealed that she was fired while pregnant on the popular musical as the production prepared to move from Seattle to Broadway in New York City.

In a lengthy post on her social media account, the actress detailed that she initially discussed her decision to expand her family with "Romy And Michele" producers in 2018. Wolfson said that she and her husband, fellow actor Curtis Holbrook, wanted to be sure that her pregnancy's timeline would not get in the way of the show's planned launch in one of the most high-profile stages in the world.

Director Kristin Hanggi assured her that the reading for the show in New York would be in the spring, and it was "all good" if she were in the family way by then. A month after that email exchange, Wolfson became pregnant after months of trying and an early miscarriage.

However, the tone changed when Wolfson informed her director and producer of her pregnancy. According to the actress, she soon received a call from Hanggi to advise her that she would be replaced.

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Perfect Time to Be Pregnant

Wolfson admitted that the phone call baffled her. She was expecting a different response since she was previously informed it was the "perfect time to be pregnant" amid the production changes. However, the producers apparently told the actress' agents that they would not be able to do the show with the "maximum effect" because of Wolfson's "condition."

Incidentally, Wolfson also performed for the Los Angeles presentation of "Romy and Michele," but she was ultimately told that they were going to look for a different star for New York. The actress told People that she was "truly, utterly stunned, shocked, very confused, and upset" about losing her role for the Broadway production, but she was determined to move forward after her last performance in Seattle.

The actress, however, has recounted her story since that last show because she felt she didn't advocate for herself and new mothers like her. Now a mom to a nearly three-year-old boy, Wolfson said she still has lingering questions about being fired while pregnant.

"I think that the narrative completely needs to change around pregnant women about what we can and can't do," the actress wrote, adding that Broadway has always been her dream.

Since sharing her story, Wolfson said that she had received messages from mothers in the theater industry. To hear the support from the moms she works with has uplifted her spirits.

Updated Casting for Diversity

In response to Wolfson's statements, the producers said they have always supported the actress's plans to start a family. They did not mention anything about her "being fired" while pregnant.

Following the Los Angeles production, where Wolfson was involved, planning for the New York shows took place in March 2020. However, the pandemic shut down Broadway for many months, and the course of the show has taken on a new direction since. On October 14 and 15, a workshop about the "Romy and Michele" stage play happened in New York with an updated cast "to bring more diversity to the production."  

Wolfson and her co-star Stephanie Renee Wall have been replaced by Brittney Johnson and Leana Rae Concepcion as the new leads.

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