Pinkins was due to tackle the title role in a new production of Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children at the Classic Stage Company theatre in New York in early 2016.

However, the All My Children star, who won a coveted Tony Award in 1992, has now exited the cast after weeks of rehearsals and previews amid claims she did not feel comfortable with the way her character's role had changed.

"Only twice this year, but so many times before in my career, I have had my perspective as a Black woman dismissed in favor of telling the Black woman's story through the filter of the White gaze," Pinkins writes in a statement published on

"I, as Mother Courage, was forced to succumb to patriarchal male egos. Each day, every performance, a humiliation."

The play's director Brian Kullick adds in his own statement, "I am so sorry that over the course of this production our views on Mother Courage diverged. One goes into a theater production with suspicions and hunches and a play slowly reveals what it might want to be. Tonya and I seemed to have started with the same basic impulse but reached two different vantage points."

The play was due to open on 9 January (16), but the launch has been postponed until a replacement for Pinkins can be found.