The musical has since been removed from the 2021 Sydney Festival lineup.
Rebel Wilson is sending support to Australian actor Hugh Sheridan and his casting in Hedwig and The Angry Inch.
Wilson opened up about the situation via her Instagram stating:
“As someone who has met the extraordinary and talented John Cameron Mitchell, seen Neil Patrick Harris play the role brilliantly on Broadway,
“And knows how amazing Hugh Sheridan is as a performer, any producers would be crazy NOT to put Hedwig in Australia with Hugh in it! He’s literally perfect for the role.”
It was reported this month that Sheridan would take on the iconic role of the titular character during the 2021 Sydney Festival.
But shortly after the casting news was announced Sheridan and the play were pulled from the lineup due to backlash from the Queer Artist Alliance Australia.
In the open letter, the group questioned the team’s casting decision saying: “We would like to express our profound sadness and disappointment that trans performers are still fighting for equal opportunities and representation.”
“The choice to cast a cis-gender male as a transgender character is offensive and damaging to the trans-community, and continues to cause genuine stress and frustration amongst trans- and gender-nonconforming performers all across Australia.” the letter continued.
The production team behind Hedwig and the Angry Inch also released a statement in regards to the recent controversy saying they are taking the issue “very seriously”.
Since pulling out of the musical, Hugh has reportedly gone to a mental health facility to receive treatment after being inundated with online bullying.
Last month Sheridan opened up about his sexuality with Stellar Magazine revealing that he’s been with men and women.
During his school and teenage years, Sheridan said he was assumed to be gay by his peers, which he felt was a “misplaced” label because he was only attracted to the opposite sex at the time.
“After moving to Sydney to attend NIDA, I finally met a guy who I connected with emotionally, mentally, and physically,” he explained.
“I was over the moon – I could finally be what people always wanted me to be, so I told everyone. In return, I was told that if I was anything but straight I’d never find work, and that I needed to hide my new-found love.
Sheridan also discussed why he chose to open up about his sexuality after previously advocating in “silence” for the LGBTQ+ community. Saying if he “maintained a silent protest, then people would always think I had something to hide or was denying others that expression.”
He continued: “In many ways, I wish I didn’t have to write this, but I feel a responsibility to others who may come after me.