Darren Criss, who’s in the midst of a run on Broadway in the smash production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, has issued an apology for a joke he reportedly improvised about Caitlyn Jenner during a performance earlier this week while in character as transgender rock singer Hedwig.
An audience member tweeted that Criss-as-Hedwig allegedly remarked, “man, woman, moman, wan, Bruce Jenner, whatever you are.”
Criss—a very active philanthropist in the LGBT community—posted an apology to Facebook on Thursday.
“I want to sincerely apologize to Caitlyn Jenner, all transgender people, and anyone who was offended for my words on stage during Tuesday evening’s performance. In no way do the remarks reflect my personal belief system or my support for transgender people,” Criss wrote. “However, I do realize the severity of the comment and the weight that words can carry and for that, I take full responsibility. I commend Caitlyn on her strength and for spreading acceptance around the globe. I have been and remain a proud and unwavering ally of the LGBTQIA community, and will continue to walk alongside my friends on the road to full equality and acceptance.”
This isn’t the first time a performance of Hedwig sparked ire on social media. When the show premiered in 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris in the title role, media outlets reported the audacity of Harris yelling at a fan who interrupted the show. In reality, the structure of the production relies heavily on the razor-tongued Hedwig interacting with—and often cursing at—the audience.
Criss has played Hedwig – a rocker who spends most the show cracking wise about her life spent straddling the lines of gender, and is known for her sensitive, albeit vitriolic take on what it means to be transgender – since April. Criss’ final performance in the show is set for July 19.
The production, as well as Hedwig writers John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, had no comment.