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Theatre Companies Revoke LA Stage Alliance Membership After Asian Nominee is Misidentified at the Ovation Awards

Jully Lee was nominated for her performance in Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, but her name was mispronounced and the wrong photo was shown on screen.

Theatre Companies Revoke LA Stage Alliance Membership After Asian Nominee is Misidentified at the Ovation Awards

Several theatres are revoking their membership to the LA Stage Alliance after an error was made during last night's Ovation Awards.

Jully Lee was nominated for an award for her performance in East West Players' Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, a play that featured an entirely Asian American company. However, when the time came for the award to be announced, Lee's name was mispronounced, and a photo of her castmate was shown on screen in place of her own.

Lee told Tara Lynn Wagener of Spectrum News 1 that her first instinct was to laugh, but later she realized the implications of the mistake.

"I think in the context of right now, of how Asian Americans are fighting our invisibility, it felt like a big slap in the face," Lee said. "It's really hard to get recognized for Asian American excellence, so those few moments when it happens, it was very painful to see it blundered like that."

LA Stage Alliance took to social media to post a public apology to Lee, and to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

"There is NO excuse for mispronouncing Ms. Lee's first name nor for the error in the image used. We take full responsibility for the oversight and we deeply regret any harm this may have caused. We will continue to take appropriate steps to correct this issue," the statement reads.

Read the full statement below:

East West Players then announced that the company was revoking its membership to the LA Stage Alliance and urged others to do the same "until the LA Stage Alliance can transparently demonstrate their commitment to recognizing and providing visibility for all of us in the LA theater community."

Some companies have already followed suit, standing in solidarity with East West Players and revoking their memberships as well, including Pasadena Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, A Noise Within, Artists at Play, and Boston Court Pasadena.

View their statements below:


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