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George Salazar Calls Out Tony Awards on Twitter- Page 3

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bk said: "What is it that is so difficult for certain people here to understand - the producers have to PAY TO PERFORM ON THE TONYS. These producers did not pay. No one didn't give him a chance to do his song other than his producers not having the rather large chunk of change to have him sing that song or someone else do something else."

Exactly, but I’m sure joevitus will find a way to argue that fact. 

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CT2NYC said: "joevitus said: "CT2NYC said: "Also, just to be clear, George Salazar's character fromBe More Chill,Michael Mell, is not written as a person of any particular color, and a white actor portrayed him in the London production. Did he have a problem with that?"

Has he said he did? I think the point was, on a show where he as a person of color who originated a role could have performed a number from said role, instead three white guys used the song as a punch line.
"

It was a rhetorical question. No, he didn't have a problem with it. That's the point, but I'm not surprised that you didn't get it. Similar to the issue with the white creatives that Kad brought up, ifhe was so personally offended by the "blatant whitewash treatment" on the Tonys, why didn't he express indignationover the Londoncasting? He didn't because it wasn't whitewashing, and if the character in an actual production of the show can't be whitewashed, the how can a parody song at the Tonys be? As Kad said, his outrage is "conveniently self-serving." That's the "logical conclusion" that a reasonable person would come to.
"

Nope, an actor of another race playing the character is not the same as three white guys on a stage using the song for mockery rather than letting the person of color who originated the song perform it in the year the show was nominated.

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joevitus said: "CT2NYC said: "joevitus said: "CT2NYC said: "Also, just to be clear, George Salazar's character fromBe More Chill,Michael Mell, is not written as a person of any particular color, and a white actor portrayed him in the London production. Did he have a problem with that?"

Has he said he did? I think the point was, on a show where he as a person of color who originated a role could have performed a number from said role, instead three white guys used the song as a punch line.
"

It was a rhetorical question. No, he didn't have a problem with it. That's the point, but I'm not surprised that you didn't get it. Similar to the issue with the white creatives that Kad brought up, ifhe was so personally offended by the "blatant whitewash treatment" on the Tonys, why didn't he express indignationover the Londoncasting? He didn't because it wasn't whitewashing, and if the character in an actual production of the show can't be whitewashed, the how can a parody song at the Tonys be? As Kad said, his outrage is "conveniently self-serving." That's the "logical conclusion" that a reasonable person would come to.
"

Nope, an actor of another race playing the character is not the same as three white guys on a stage using the song for mockery rather than letting the person of color who originated the song perform it in the year the show was nominated."

The show wasn't nominated.  Nor was Salazar.  The Tonys decided they didn't like the show or him enough to nominate them, which means they were under no obligation to let him perform the song on the show.  And they are allowed to write spoofs for their hosts to perform, something that has been done routinely on Tony telecasts for years and years and years.  Was it whitewashing when Neil Patrick Harris sung a spoof of "Tonight" at the end of the 2009 Tonys?  And that show was actually nominated.

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joevitus said: "CT2NYC said: "joevitus said: "CT2NYC said: "Also, just to be clear, George Salazar's character fromBe More Chill,Michael Mell, is not written as a person of any particular color, and a white actor portrayed him in the London production. Did he have a problem with that?"

Has he said he did? I think the point was, on a show where he as a person of color who originated a role could have performed a number from said role, instead three white guys used the song as a punch line.
"

It was a rhetorical question. No, he didn't have a problem with it. That's the point, but I'm not surprised that you didn't get it. Similar to the issue with the white creatives that Kad brought up, ifhe was so personally offended by the "blatant whitewash treatment" on the Tonys, why didn't he express indignationover the Londoncasting? He didn't because it wasn't whitewashing, and if the character in an actual production of the show can't be whitewashed, the how can a parody song at the Tonys be? As Kad said, his outrage is "conveniently self-serving." That's the "logical conclusion" that a reasonable person would come to.
"

Nope, an actor of another race playing the character is not the same as three white guys on a stage using the song for mockery rather than letting the person of color who originated the song perform it in the year the show was nominated."

You know Sara Bareilles was there too, right? 

And, with that, back on ignore you go. 

Updated On: 6/29/20 at 09:31 PM
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When I saw this, my first instinct was to agree with those saying that Salazar is reading too much into it. Especially since we know that there were other reasons, unrelated to race, for him to be holding a grudge against them, and him bringing it back up now might feel like he's taking advantage of the current climate. 

But as always, I think it's important to take a step, try to come from a place of learning and empathy, and put the effort into understanding where people of color are coming from. Because it's very rare for POC to "play the race" unnecessarily, so it's better to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe Salazar didn't say anything about the racist component of it back then because he didn't feel emboldened to do so. Or maybe he didn't come to terms with it until recently. 

As for the details of this specific situation, it's obvious that they weren't thinking in terms of race. As Broadway61004 points out, BMC wasn't nominated except for its score, and they were well within their rights to deny BMS a slot, if that is indeed what happened (It's possible that they couldn't get a slot because they couldn't pay for it, but based on what we've heard from the BMC team, it sounds like they were willing to pay, but got denied). And the circumstances clearly indicate that any unfair treatment of the BMC team was a result of animosity toward the show, not toward Salazar. 

But as I keep saying, every time a situation like this comes up: impact is more important than intent. Just because someone wasn't thinking in terms of race, doesn't mean their behavior doesn't contribute to larger patterns of racism, and making actors of color feel devalued. And it's true that the character's race isn't specified. But this isn't really about casting, or who gets to perform that song in the abstract sense. It's about a specific situation where a specific actor of color was denied an opportunity to perform, and instead the song was performed by white celebrities as a joke. And this specific situation was inadvertently contributing to a larger pattern of devaluing actors of color, and prioritizing white celebrities at the expense of up-and-coming actors of color who have more to gain from the exposure of a Tony performance.

Maybe there was no outcry about the London casting because, as others have said, the character's race isn't relevant, so it wasn't a given that Michael would be played by a POC in subsequent productions. But in the case of the Tonys, it WAS a given that, if the show to be allowed to perform, the song would be performed by a POC, and that path wasn't taken. 

When this happened last year, I defended their right to parody the song, and I disagreed with many of the specific reasons people gave for why it was tasteless (for example, some said that it was offensive to make fun of a song sung by a "suicidal" character, while I would argue that it was more offensive for Joe Iconis to casually toss in a single line about suicide, without really addressing the issue, and then allow people to make claims that the song is "about suicide".). But there was still a lot about the segment that was in poor taste, given the circumstances. And the fact that a mostly-unknown actor of color was denied the opportunity to sing the song, in favor of white celebrities, just adds another layer to the situation (and of course, the fact that all of the Tony hosts for the past 11 years have been white is a troubling pattern in and of itself). 

CBS didn't owe BMC a thing, except a seat for Joe Iconis, the sole nominee from the show. But still, it undoubtedly would have been a more progressive choice to scrap the parody, and allow Salazar to perform, and this would have been more in the spirit of what the Tonys are supposed to be about anyway. 

And I say all of this as someone who absolutely despised BMC, including that song. 

Updated On: 6/30/20 at 10:04 PM
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JBroadway said: "But still, it undoubtedly would have been a more progressive choice to scrap the parody, and allow Salazar to perform, and this would have been more in the spirit of what the Tonys are supposed to be about anyway."

I'm sure everyone regrets doing the parody now. It wasn't a choice between the parody and his performance. It was a choice between the parody and no mention of BMC. It's not a systemic problem. Nominated BIPOC performers and diverse casts aren't routinely denied a chance to perform on the telecast. This just feels like every other instance of the BMC cast and creative team whining on twitter about how people didn't respect/appreciate (read: enjoy/praise) their show more. 

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There’s absolutely an argument to be made here about how systemic racism played a role in this (the Tonys wanted more attention, so they turned to their famous recent hosts, who all happened to be white... which is a thread you can pull on for a while).

If nothing else, this demonstrates how difficult it is to really discuss and ultimately address systemic racism.

Salazar and BMC folks have every right to feel indignant about what the Tonys did, because it was stupid. And I think it’s very revealing that when a stupid decision like this is made, nonwhite actors wonder if their race played a part in it, even if they know it likely did not directly do so.

But maybe this isn’t something that can be dredged up on Twitter, which by its nature is reductive. Ultimately, to me, it ends up looking like a actor bitter that he didn’t get to sing on TV, which is at its worst a problem that most actors wish they could have.
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Broadway61004 said: "joevitus said: "CT2NYC said: "joevitus said: "CT2NYC said: "Also, just to be clear, George Salazar's character fromBe More Chill,Michael Mell, is not written as a person of any particular color, and a white actor portrayed him in the London production. Did he have a problem with that?"

Has he said he did? I think the point was, on a show where he as a person of color who originated a role could have performed a number from said role, instead three white guys used the song as a punch line.
"

It was a rhetorical question. No, he didn't have a problem with it. That's the point, but I'm not surprised that you didn't get it. Similar to the issue with the white creatives that Kad brought up, ifhe was so personally offended by the "blatant whitewash treatment" on the Tonys, why didn't he express indignationover the Londoncasting? He didn't because it wasn't whitewashing, and if the character in an actual production of the show can't be whitewashed, the how can a parody song at the Tonys be? As Kad said, his outrage is "conveniently self-serving." That's the "logical conclusion" that a reasonable person would come to.
"

Nope, an actor of another race playing the character is not the same as three white guys on a stage using the song for mockery rather than letting the person of color who originated the song perform it in the year the show was nominated."

The show wasn't nominated. Nor was Salazar. The Tonys decided they didn't like the show or him enough to nominate them, which means they were under no obligation to let him perform the song on the show. And they are allowed to write spoofs for their hosts to perform, something that has been done routinely on Tony telecasts for years and years and years. Was it whitewashing when Neil Patrick Harris sung a spoof of "Tonight" at the end of the 2009 Tonys? And that show was actually nominated."

The point still stands that not letting someone of color perform a song they originated, and that was mocked by three white guys when the show itself was--by your own admission--basically ignored (apart from score--and even then didn't get to present on the show) is an entirely different thing that a production of the show choosing to cast a white actor in the role. 

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Alex Kulak2 said: "https://twitter.com/georgesalazar/status/1276987524368359424

"Ok... Remember when they said there wouldn’t be time in the telecast for me to perform “Michael in the Bathroom,” but then they did a three and a half minute parody of it with four white people? I do."

I was mad when the telecast didn't letBe More Chillperform but instead did an un-credited parody of their most famous song, but I never thought about it like this.
"

You never thought about it like this????? That’s wild to me. 

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I understand that he was upset about it, they should’ve at least given credit to the show if they were gonna parody it.

However, why is he complaining now? It’s been over a year, and it’s not like the parody was some kind of attack against him.
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Simply do not understand some of the arguments here.

Do people think Salazar would have been allowed to perform if he was white? Do people think the producers would have paid for it if he was white? Do people think that he would have been nominated if he was white? (Three of the nominated actors that year were people of color, including the winner). 

I thought Salazar was the absolute highlight of BMC. I thought it was a raw deal the way the Tonys screwed over the show by parodying it without even mentioning it. I VERY much appreciate the point made above that the "lets use our previous hosts" thing is emblematic of the problem given the absence of any POC- but again, it is very hard to see how this translates into some sort of racial slight against Salazar. 

 

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Hot Pants said: "However, why is he complaining now? It’s been over a year, and it’s not like the parody was some kind of attack against him."

Cause he's bored at home, indefinitely unemployed, and is trying to stay relevant in the current climate.

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"Ok... Remember when they said there wouldn’t be time in the telecast for me to perform “Michael in the Bathroom,” but then they did a three and a half minute parody of it with four white people? I do."

or maybe your shows producers lied to you because the show was bleeding money and they were trying to save face....

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I agree. It's not racist. Is it in poor taste? Yes. But racist? No. No. Not at all. Let's focus on the killers of Breonna Taylor. 

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JBroadway said: "But as I keep saying, every time a situation like this comes up: impact is more important than intent. Just because someone wasn't thinking in terms of race, doesn't mean their behavior doesn't contribute to larger patterns of racism, and making actors of color feel devalued. And it's true that the character's race isn't specified. But this isn't really about casting, or who gets to perform that song in the abstract sense. It's about a specific situation where a specific actor of color was denied an opportunity to perform, and instead the song was performed by white celebrities as a joke. And this specific situation was inadvertently contributing to a larger pattern of devaluing actors of color, and prioritizing white celebrities at the expense of up-and-coming actors of color who have more to gain from the exposure of a Tony performance."

This is right. But also, more than one thing can be true in all of this.

Was the intent racist? No.

Was its impact? Yes, clearly.

Does the airing of these incidents help the movement? Yes, and no. Yes, because it reminds everyone of how the systemic racism has an affect on everything. And once you inject race or worse, forget race, it has likely become inappropriate. To forget there is a system upholds the system.

As for no, it's really a qualified "no". Frankly, this isn't going to change a single bit of the systemic problems. As Kad pointed out, BMC was essentially a white-owned business, an LLC run by white producers, etc. And while having an increased awareness of these systems is important to avoid such impacts, the WORK is the systemic changes. How do you get more black members of the Broadway League? How do we get more diversity in producing? Board of Directors at non-profits? Administration? Then design and direction. That is some serious capitalism to work against. And yes, since our capitalism was built on slavery, it upholds racism. But knowing that doesn't dismantle it. It takes reform at every single step. So, the "no" is because it's easier to discuss the impact of a stupid joke.

Updated On: 7/1/20 at 10:25 AM
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The "white owned LLC" was nonetheless a thoroughly multi-racial show. Lots of people of color in that cast. So it's hardly an example of how systematic racism keeps people of color form working in the industry because of capitalism (in fact, when the show rebounded in New York a couple of years after the original production closed, it had more people of color in primary roles, not less).

This is another reason why Salazar's comment is to the point: a multiracial show was only represented on the Tony's as a joke by three white guys.


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