800 Black Actors Sign Letter in Support of ROMEO & JULIET Star Following 'Racist and Misogynistic Abuse'

Romeo & Juliet opens at the Duke of York's Theatre, on Thursday 23 May.

By: Apr. 10, 2024
800 Black Actors Sign Letter in Support of ROMEO & JULIET Star Following 'Racist and Misogynistic Abuse'
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Over 800 Black actors have signed a letter in support of Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, who has faced racially-targeting bullying after being cast as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet in London.

The letter was publised by The Guardian, and was started by actor Susan Wokoma and playwright Somalia Nonyé Seaton.

“When news of Francesca Amewudah-Rivers’ casting in Jamie Lloyd’s production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ was announced so many people celebrated and welcomed this news. Many of us took to social media to shower our baby sis with love and congratulations – a huge deal for someone so young in their career," reads the letter.

"But then what followed was a too familiar horror that many of us visible Black dark skinned performers have experienced. The racist and misogynistic abuse directed at such a sweet soul has been too much to bear."

883 people have signed the letter so far, including Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Lolly Adefope, Freema Agyeman, Wunmi Mosaku, and Tamara Lawrance.

Read the full letter here.

This came after The Jamie Lloyd Company released a statement last week condemning the harassment.

The statement read, "We are working with a remarkable group of artists. We insist that they are free to create work without facing online harassment. We will continue to support and protect everyone in our company at all costs. Any abuse will not be tolerated and will be reported."

Read the full statement below:

Romeo & Juliet opens at the Duke of York's Theatre, on Thursday 23 May, with previews from Saturday 11 May, and runs until Saturday 3 August 2024.

The cast, led by Tom Holland, also includes  Freema Agyeman (Nurse), Michael Balogun (Friar), Tomiwa Edun (Capulet), Mia Jerome (Montague), Daniel Quinn-Toye (Paris), Ray Sesay (Tybalt), Nima Taleghani (Benvolio), Joshua-Alexander Williams (Mercutio) and Callum Heinrich and Kody Mortimer (Camera Operators) complete the cast.




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