Broadway stars in the theater community call racism – diversity5 min read
Broadway stars called for racism in the theater community after the death of George Floyd and the Black Live Matter protests across the country.
“Favorite White People” actor Griffin Mathews, playwright Dominic Maurice and “My Fair Lady” actor Christian Dant White are some of the stars who are speaking and taking positions.
“Racism steals our dreams, suppresses our stories, robs us of our talents and then drives us away when we are no longer valued,” Mathews said in a video shared on Twitter on Monday.
Actors and writers called directors, choreographers, agents, stage managers, casting directors, press teams and reviewers who “pretended to be friends”, referring to “this is why Broadway is racist.” Matthews said he was “triggered” after watching a viral video of a white woman, Amy Cooper, telling him to follow Central Park dog hanging rules.
Protests over Black Lives Matter have escalated in the past week following Floyd’s death. People across the country are taking action and expressing solidarity with the movement by speaking out against racism and police brutality.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, “Hamilton” producer Lynn-Manuel Miranda soon apologized for not showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Miranda said, “I’m sorry for not pressing hard and fast and for not telling these truths under Hamilton’s banner.” “We live in a country where blacks have been under attack for centuries by white hegemony, police brutality and centuries of black-anti-racism, standing up for our fellow citizens and therefore relying on us. To be and to be behind each other “”
In addition to tweets, Miranda provided links to Black Lives Matter, NAACP and the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
On Saturday, Mauricio posted on Facebook his views on the recent protests, writing: “When we mourn the corporations that run corporations, we have to ask ourselves – did the corporations mourn the daily fires that litter our streets? Our work? The epidemic?” When do we leave our health to make sure their health reaches the bottom line? “
“Now is the time to get educated,” Broadway actor Dant White said in a video shared on Twitter on Sunday. “It’s time to learn, to watch documentaries, to read articles and understand history, to understand anger, to understand why we are here now. Silence is not an option.”
In a post to the Broadway and theater community, stage director Cody Reinard Richard shared his experience with racism throughout his career: “I’m tired. I’m tired of being out of the house when I feel uncomfortable because of you. I’m tired of laughing weirdly if your racist jokes aren’t funny. I’m tired of being able to defend my skin color, just to make you feel more. I’m so tired and I can’t stand it anymore, “Richard wrote.
Broadway’s “Tina” Twitter account released a statement encouraging other theater companies to “work, listen and make systematic changes” for black members.
Director, choreographer and producer Warren Adams took to Instagram to clean up the theater “never go back to normal.” Adams wrote, “We will no longer walk through rooms that hold our breath and will no longer wear those masks. “We are not looking for sympathy. We are not the losers. We just want humanity and equality. ”
Check out this post on Instagram
Dear Broadway, the Covid virus came and it shut everything down. Because of all the uncertainty, our initial reaction was fear and terror. But then, another virus has nurtured its ugly head, that virus is known as raxm. It is a perpetual virus that spreads like an invisible snake in every part of our ecosystem. Truth be told, we all know that it’s just invisible to those who don’t like to see it. At the moment, we all have to wear masks because of the coronavirus, but the reality is, your black members have been wearing masks for a very long time; Out of fear of the boat rocking and not sure if you feel comfortable but the point here is, when we get back to the theater, the place we all like the most, we won’t go back to normal. We will not walk through our breathing rooms and we will no longer wear those masks. We are not looking for sympathy. We are not the losers. We just want humanity and equality. Some of you chose to express your grief this past weekend. It was very touching… no, look, I did it again. I wore a mask. Let me try again. Some of you have expressed your grief this week after the Black Broadway community asked you for it. The words you wrote were very strong and we thank you for it. However, those are just words. What your actions in this regard will actually count. If you have an all white production team, change it. If you have an all-white creative team, change that. Change this when your organization has all the white staff. Change it if you have a white board. When you’re giving an account of standing up to ethnic culture with an all-white team – no! Just don’t. If you only have one white, change it. And by changing that, we add one of us to mean that it makes a box last longer. We are talking about real change. No, the illusion of inclusion. This description also includes the struggle for equality for our Latin, Asian, Native and Middle Eastern brothers and sisters. (Message continues below)
In an op-ed written in Burton Ware, the president of the Black Theater Association, Dr. Monica Endownau called on the White Theaters to remain silent for the time being: “It’s not hard to see how white theaters have benefited from black deaths and traumas. Don’t say anything in response to anti-black violence like attacks, “wrote Enddown.” The silence of the past few weeks discusses the need for safe places to tell our stories. “
Activist Kelly Gypson went on Instagram to tell theater leaders that they should take on more Black and Brown staff members.