Monday, May 29, 2017

Another SJW in the theater throws a hissy-fit

I had heard vaguely of this controversy and then read the article in American Theatre magazine about a SJW idiot having a meltdown over casting idiocy. A deliberately obtuse director named Michael Streeter decided to cast a black guy in the role of Nick for a play set in 1962.

Author Diep Tran writes:
In writing about a similar casting issue with playwrights Katori Hall and Lloyd Suh in 2015 (white actors were appearing in roles explicitly written as characters of color), I wrote that “the rights of the playwright trump the rights of the directors/producers.” I stand by that, and I will continue to stand up for the rights of playwrights to dictate what should be done with their work.
What I find remarkable about this statement is that Tran feels it's necessary to point out that he believes in the principle of authors' rights even when the author is white.

That is how far the Social Justice Warrior insanity has gone in the theater - you are never to assume that a principle of justice covers any "white" person, because the thinking process behind the Social Justice Warrior ethos is that individual white people must be randomly punished in order to exact revenge against "whites" for everything done by whites at any time in the past or present to any non-white.

It's a literally insane way to foster "social justice."

And please note that the anger in this case is directed at Albee's estate - Albee is worshipped by almost the entire theater community as a god - I am one of the few people I know of who is not a huge fan of his. And even he - or his estate - is being called a racist, or at least it's implied that their reasoning in the casting decision is based on racism.

I also wrote about the Lloyd Suh kerfuffle and the reason that the cases are different is because the Suh production was for a college course, while Michael Streeter is working for a professional theater.

In the Tran article he quotes another SJW dumb-ass Amelie Hayes:
“White culture is so stupid,” exclaimed an exasperated Hayes. “The culture is shifting, you’re outnumbered. Be open to it. How can you be a part of this? Facilitate an opening. Also, what’s your role in being part of a wider culture. Not a whiter culture, a wider culture! And what does that mean?”
Hayes, in standard SJW fashion, makes a statement that is false, and easily demonstrated to be false. But SJWs are not interested in objectivity and facts. 

Haye's claim that "you're outnumbered" is flatly wrong, according to the Federal Population Census. It depends of course on how you define "white" - at one time Italians were not considered white, and many Latinos consider themselves white. But it's clear that the total number of people of European ancestry outnumbers those of non-European ethnicities.
Analysis by 2010 Federal Population CensusFifteen largest ancestries in the United States in the 2010 census.[81]
Rank | Ancestry | Number | Percent of total
1 German 49,206,934 17.1 %
2 African American 45,284,752 14.6 %
3 Irish 35,523,082 11.6 %
4 Mexican 31,789,483 10.9 %
5 English 26,923,091 9.0 %
6 American 19,911,467 6.7 %
7 Italian 17,558,598 5.9 %
8 Polish 9,739,653 3.0 %
9 French 9,136,092 2.9 %
10 Scottish 5,706,263 1.9 %
11 Scotch-Irish 5,102,858 1.7 %
12 Native American and Alaskan Native 4,920,336 1.6 %
13 Dutch 4,810,511 1.6 %
14 Puerto Rican 4,607,774 1.5 %
15 Norwegian 4,557,539 1.5 %
And a playwright wanting a specific gender/ethnicity/age/etc. for a play is not an example of "white culture" - it's an example of a playwright having a specific vision.

I don't always agree with traditional casting - I think WAITING FOR GODOT, being set in a vague time and place, has no good reason to prohibit women from taking roles in the play.

But WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF is set in a very specific time and place, in 1962 East Coast America. In fact, that's why I find the play useless as anything but a period piece. VIRGINIA WOOLF revolves around Martha's inability to have a baby. If the play was moved to the present time there would have to be discussions of the new fertility methods in use. And unless it was moved to modern times, a "mixed marriage" as Streeter's casting would have it, would be a big freaking deal in 1962 and it's silly to pretend otherwise.

Streeter simply didn't bother to perform due diligence before casting the play and ask the Albee estate about the issue before casting. It's hard to believe he's so obtuse and it's hard not to suspect he did this as a publicity stunt.

Fortunately the Dramatists Guild isn't ready to be dragged down the rabbit-hole of moral cretinism that SJWs like Hayes and Streeter have dug for playwrights. Ralph Sevush (who personally freed my play TAM LIN from the clutches of Edward Einhorn) wrote:
The Guild asserts that it is a playwright’s fundamental right to approve of casting choices to ensure they reflect his or her authorial intent. We assert this right for Edward Albee and his estate, just as we have asserted it on behalf of Lloyd Suh and his work Jesus In India and Katori Hall and her play The Mountaintop. We also assert the right of playwrights to specify diverse casting for work that is not demographically specific. Playwrights own their work, and therefore have the right to make decisions about all aspects of its presentation.
Based on their Facebook profiles both Hayes and Streeter are white. Since they are comfortable with abrogating a playwright's rights for the sake of inclusivity they are clearly fanatically dedicated to the cause - let them prove it by stepping aside from their current positions as a director and as an artistic director for theater companies and let non-whites take their jobs.

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