Toronto Star

Broadway San Diego cuts ties with Vereen

- SOPAN DEB

Broadway San Diego, a touring production group, announced Friday that it had cut ties to actor Ben Vereen, whose name was on an awards program rewarding outstandin­g local high-school performers.

This came after The New York Daily News reported that multiple women were accusing Vereen of sexual misconduct, connected to a 2015 community theatre production of the musical Hair in Florida.

“Effective immediatel­y, Broadway San Diego is ending its associatio­n with Mr. Ben Vereen,” the company said in a statement reported by The San Diego Union Tribune.

The awards will still be presented but will no longer be called the Ben Vereen Awards, the group said.

On Friday, Vereen posted an apology on Twitter:

“I would like to apologize directly to the female cast members of the musical Hair for my inappropri­ate conduct when I directed the production in 2015.

“While it was my intention to create an environmen­t that replicated the themes of that musical during the rehearsal process, I have since come to understand that it is my conduct, not my intentions, which are relevant here.”

 ??  ?? Ben Vereen has been dropped by Broadway San Diego following "inappropri­ate conduct."
Ben Vereen has been dropped by Broadway San Diego following "inappropri­ate conduct."

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