Black Glinda

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Black Glinda#126
Posted: 1/11/19 at 12:48pm

bdn223 said: "If it was JK Rowling's true intention for the character to be black she would of vetoed the cover art. As someone who works in Publishing, I can tell you JK Rowling had final approval on her cover art."

I recall her just letting the artists come up with their own interpretations of what the characters looked like, no? The US and UK editions didn't even use the same illustrators...

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Black Glinda#127
Posted: 1/11/19 at 1:16pm
You are all right about no skin color being mentioned for Hermoine. Her description suggested that she may not be white. However Watson did sport the bushy hair.
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Black Glinda#128
Posted: 1/11/19 at 1:29pm
Im sorry, but there is no way JK Rowling had a racially mysterious Hermione in mind when she wrote those books. Shes only saying that now because she saw some fans suggesting Hermione could be black a couple years before Cursed Child was a thing and was like, Yeah! However the fans want to interpret her, etc., etc. But she did approve the cover art, she did describe Hermiones face as white in one scene, and she implied Hermione got a tan during vacation in Prizoner of Azkaban, indicating that her skin isnt usually a darker shade. I dont mind the idea of a black Hermione, but many people are giving JK Rowling too much credit by claiming she always envisioned Hermione as being a blank slate when it comes to her race.
"Was uns befreit, das muss stärker sein als wir es sind." -Tanz der Vampire
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Black Glinda#129
Posted: 1/11/19 at 1:40pm
Well, it must be nice to actually know what was going on inside her head.

This did not come up just a few years before the play. I remember a lot of people discussing it when the books first came out.
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amazingamandakate
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Black Glinda#130
Posted: 1/11/19 at 2:33pm
You can tell that JKR meant for the leads to be white because when characters of color appeared in the Harry Potter books, they were either described as black (Dean Thomas and Kingsley Shacklebolt) or given an obvious name (Cho Chang). Also, Hermione is pretty clearly based on herself.

I dont really mind her saying that Hermione never had a stated race, because she technically didnt, but she probably never pictured Hermione as anyone but white while writing the books.
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Black Glinda#131
Posted: 1/11/19 at 2:44pm

amazingamandakate said: "I dont really mind her saying that Hermione never had a stated race, because she technically didnt, but she probably never pictured Hermione as anyone but white while writing the books."

Those are separate things, though. What an author pictures and what an author allows the reader to picture can be written to allow a wide range of interpretations. Ultimately, the author is just the first reader of the material, who is interpreting the text for themselves first.

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Black Glinda#132
Posted: 1/11/19 at 3:22pm

jimmycurry01 said: "Norm was the first African American to play the role on Broadway, but he was not the first to play the role in the US. It is an important distinction to make. Robert Guillaume replaced Michael Crawford in the original Las Angeles cast in 1990. He deserves the credit for being the first African American Phantom, and the first Phantom of color in general."

He was the first, and last until Norm Lewis. But don't give Cameron Macintosh and ALW too much credit for being progressive. Guillaume contacted them about playing the role just as it was opening in LA. He was cast not simply because he could sing and act the role (arguably), but was also a celebrity, of sorts, who could bring in an audience after the departure of Michael Crawford. 

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Black Glinda#133
Posted: 1/11/19 at 3:27pm

Fosse76 said: "Guillaume contacted them about playing the role just as it was opening in LA. He was cast not simply because he could sing and actthe role (arguably), but was also a celebrity, of sorts, who could bring in an audience after the departure of Michael Crawford."

Were people that thrilled with the idea of seeing Benson as the Phantom?!?

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Black Glinda#134
Posted: 1/11/19 at 4:27pm

Fosse76 said: "jimmycurry01 said: "Norm was the first African American to play the role on Broadway, but he was not the first to play the role in the US. It is an important distinction to make. Robert Guillaume replaced Michael Crawford in the original Las Angeles cast in 1990. He deserves the credit for being the first African American Phantom, and the first Phantom of color in general."

He was the first, and last until Norm Lewis. But don't give Cameron Macintosh and ALW too much credit for being progressive. Guillaume contacted them about playing the role just as it was opening in LA. He was cast not simply because he could sing and actthe role (arguably), but was also a celebrity, of sorts, who could bring in an audience after the departure of Michael Crawford.
"

This is all true, but it is still a distinction that Guillaume deserves. I was merely pointing out that credit must be given where it is due.

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Black Glinda#135
Posted: 1/11/19 at 4:31pm

haterobics said: "bdn223 said: "If it was JK Rowling's true intention for the character to be black she would of vetoed the cover art. As someone who works in Publishing, I can tell you JK Rowling had final approval on her cover art."

I recall her just letting the artists come up with their own interpretations of what the characters looked like, no? The US and UK editions didn't even use the same illustrators...
"

Trust me when I say this JK Rowling had to approve of her covers, and her character’s skin colors on them. We had to scrap 25k copies of a book because the author thought the color of the protagonists skin was too dark on the final cover art on the books after printing, which caused the Author to think the audience might misconstrue as black instead of latino. Especially considering by Askaban, Harry Potter was already successful enough that Rowling was getting a list treatment by Scholastic and Bloomsbury gave her whatever she wanted. Its a main reason why a lot of the more presige authors don’t have depictions of their characters on front covers as they don’t want to confuse the reader. 

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Black Glinda#136
Posted: 1/11/19 at 6:19pm

Glad to hear she did great! Go girl! It's always nice to see new talent taking on a role.

I am on her side and always on the side of equality. And that is exactly the mindset of the casting directors, the production, the actress and myself here. This is the right direction.

What does worry me slightly is the reaction of the audience and some posters here. And I will choose my words very carefully because "silencing" seems to be a big problem on the board lately. But we need to realize that there is a difference between being happy with progress and victimization of a group of people. Let me explain this. It seems that we all mean well and we all think our standpoints are good. But fact is that nearly all posts are only about her color. Not about the actress or talent. In every other Glinda casting, reactions are about that, the performer, with, many, many traits. Why not here? Why only on this trait? I have difficulties with this, because the word race is never above the word equal to me. To me the people who do this are not treating her as equal. And this is not nitpicking of me, this race focus is the complete basis of inequality. When she came on, people say "the entrance applause was EVERYTHING and out of this world". There is a fine line between sympathy and talent judgement. But ok, I can understand that there's some enthusiasm here, but whether you like it or not, it is very much based on a race focus, and it directly shows the focus of the particular audience, because would they clap less loud for another race? Should we treat any performer differently based on race? Whether you like it or not, it is racial separation, again, the core of the problem. In the end, nobody would really want to go down this road. Another poster said "I'm not that girl reprise" was particularly touching. I have never read this about any other Glinda, because usually every other aspect, (which is 99% of the role) is discussed or praised, which is also very interesting. It is the one moment where the role asks for sympathy (it is written that way), so it is interesting that this moment is mentioned. In my opinion, and I have tried to explain this for years, it is wrong if a show changes intention because of a race focus in a show where it doesn't even matter! This has nothing to do with the show or the actress, this has all to do with the focus of the audience. And that's where the key factor comes in again, do we focus on race difference, or can we see people. Because only then the road to equality will start. Are audiences ready for equal treatment? Right now this girl is treated as some kind of alien, not by the production, casting team, herself or me, but by audiences. We need to ask ourselves what true equality is. And be very careful that we don't widen the race gap by all this extreme race focus but focus on all the progress made in the last few years. Basically, I think it is better that in today's climate our children (our future) learn that a black president, a black talkshow host, black artists leading the popcharts, black characters in every tv show, movie, musical out there is the most normal thing on earth. It actually always was to me. Until I see thread titles like this. I am really curious, and hope some posters can answer this, have you ever thought of the idea that we have the choice of treating things normally and what the results of that will be in the long run? Aside from the good intentions we all think we have. 

I also truly hope this girl finds fulfillment in the fact that she is just very great in the role and doesn't feel like she just gets sympathy or feels victimized based on certain peculiar reactions, out of sympathy, so to speak. It is a very interesting reaction.
 

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 06:19 PM
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Black Glinda#137
Posted: 1/11/19 at 6:46pm

Dave, you make some interesting points but I still don't understand why you think it's wrong to celebrate her race. When a role has established a 15 year history of only casting white women, in a show where someone is discriminated against their skin, it is important to take note. Producers and casting directors can see the celebration and be encouraged to keep moving forward in diversifying their shows.

I do hope one day we don't have to celebrate every little step, but right now that is where we are at since there are so many big steps left to take towards true diversity. 

You may think you're progressive in your "colorblind" thinking but it actually isn't and it's important to see race and acknowledge your privilege if you happen to be white. As a white person, I'll leave it to a person of color to explain this much better than me: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology-is-form-racism

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 06:46 PM
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Black Glinda#138
Posted: 1/11/19 at 6:58pm

I see your point but I disagree. There is nothing wrong with celebrating that, and I am not saying we should not see or acknowledge race. But it should be normalized. And it is our choice how we treat that. These excessive reactions from audiences and this extreme race focus make my little nephew ask "Uncle, what is wrong with black people? Why are they not normal"? And then I have to explain to him that they are normal. Without these reactions he wouldn't even ask himself this question. All we learn at home is to think in people. Black people have achieved everything there is to achieve in the world and are everywhere, in every thinkable position, function and talent. This role of Glinda is one of the last roles in the world that just not happened to have a person of color yet. In many other roles and companies the percentage of poc is much higher than the actual population, especially in tv and film there is a huge overrepresentation but both examples should not matter anymore. When do you think there will be a point when these campaigners will experience a complete turnaround and start treating people as equals and there will be some kind of contentment? Because honestly, I'm waiting for it. Because that turnaround is the beginning of equality.

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 06:58 PM
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Black Glinda#139
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:03pm
Representation matters.
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Black Glinda#140
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:06pm

Indeed, and everything is represented now. Can we now move on to equality?

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Black Glinda#141
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:08pm

I think this is a fantastic moment for this actress and for anyone inspired by seeing her on stage. But I do feel like we should acknowledge that there are certain characters who are cast as beautiful, usually blond, and thin white girls for a reason regardless of whether race is an acknowledged part of the story. Off the top of my head... Galinda/Glinda in Wicked, Regina George in Mean Girls, Heather Chandler in Heathers, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Amber von Tussle in Hairspray. These stories are commenting on privilege. 

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Black Glinda#142
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:09pm
I think wed all love to move on to equality. Lets hope we get 20, 30 more POC playing Glinda and it just becomes the norm, but shes the first and thats cause for celebration. In a country built on racism and a business with systematic racism, its a victory.
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Black Glinda#143
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:17pm

LesWickedly said: "I think wed all love to move on to equality. Lets hope we get 20, 30 more POC playing Glinda and it just becomes the norm, but shes the first and thats cause for celebration. In a country built on racism and a business with systematic racism, its a victory."

I totally agree. 

Because this victimization can not be the right path. In any case, it is not moving towards equality.

I'm glad that in terms of roles, there will be no more victories left soon. 

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Black Glinda#144
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:27pm

VintageSnarker said: "I think this is a fantastic moment for this actress and for anyone inspired by seeing her on stage. But I do feel like we should acknowledge that there are certain characters who are cast as beautiful, usuallyblond, and thinwhite girls for a reason regardless of whether race is an acknowledged part of the story. Off the top of my head... Galinda/Glinda in Wicked, Regina George in Mean Girls, Heather Chandler in Heathers, Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Amber von Tussle in Hairspray. These stories are commenting on privilege."

That's an interesting point indeed, because if we teach our children that poc are victims, or need more sympathy, it is safe to say that we create a generation that is more unlikely to see a black girl as equal or believable in a role as someone "priviledged". Maybe in 30 years this has changed when we stopped teaching our children that, but I sometimes feel that in today's climate audiences aren't ready yet, seeing the reactions to this casting for example. Also, in the basis there is nothing wrong with casting in a way that is most recognizable for the majority of society. We can't try to teach our children one thing and the expect them to understand the opposite in casting. Also, color counting in general is quite toxic, both ways. Any scenario should be possible, not every project has to include everything.

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 07:27 PM
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Black Glinda#145
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:33pm

Victimization: noun

the action of singling someone out for cruel or unjust treatment.

If you think the community has been treating her cruelly then I am at a loss. Here’s her great and lovely post on the matter: https://www.instagram.com/p/BsgWkRehCVo/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=iakp7ukqe6f3

Done trying to change your mind as you are obviously very set in your ways and I hope this thread isn’t shut down as I’d love to hear reports from tonight's show. 

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 07:33 PM
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Black Glinda#146
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:44pm

Thanks for your input too! This is a nice, respectful discussion.

Lovely post of the actress too. Good for her.

What I meant by the victimization is what I explained earlier in this thread, but she doesn't even seem to realize this or care about this herself.

I guess the time is just not right yet. But we are really running out of victories, so a change in mindset is unavoidable, which is fantastic for the road to equality.
 

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 07:44 PM
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Black Glinda#147
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:59pm

Elfuhbuh said: "Im sorry, but there is no way JK Rowling had a racially mysterious Hermione in mind when she wrote those books. Shes only saying that now because she saw some fans suggesting Hermione could be black a couple years before Cursed Child was a thing and was like, Yeah! However the fans want to interpret her, etc., etc. But she did approve the cover art, she did describe Hermiones face as white in one scene, and she implied Hermione got a tan during vacation in Prizoner of Azkaban, indicating that her skin isnt usually a darker shade. I dont mind the idea of a black Hermione, but many people are giving JK Rowling too much credit by claiming she always envisioned Hermione as being a blank slate when it comes to her race."

 

my BIGGEST problem with them casting a black Hermione was that it was obviously done just for the sake of press. they cast an older harry that looked like young harry... an adult Ron that looked like young Ron.... mcgonahal who looked younger... etc. everyone was cast to look like their young movie counterpart except for her. it was kind of jarring and it took me out of the story to be honest. why not make Ron asian? or make harry black? 

 

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 07:59 PM
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Black Glinda#148
Posted: 1/12/19 at 8:28am

Can we sidestep the Harry Potter discussion and get back to discussing the topic at hand.

There's a bootleg on YouTube of Brittney Johnson's first 'No One Mourns The Wicked' and she sounds FAB! Her voice is gorgeous and she doesn't sound at all nervous. The entrance applause she received was incredible as was the fact her first line was "it's good to see me, isn't it?" to which people in the audience shouted "YES" 

I can't wait to see how she improves in the role and I really hope she gets promoted soon.

"Charlotte, we're Jewish"
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Black Glinda#149
Posted: 1/12/19 at 8:42am

She is indeed great! Very beautiful voice and indeed, doesn't sound nervous at all for a first performance!

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Black Glinda#150
Posted: 1/12/19 at 10:08am

I have been a fan of Brittney since I saw her as Eponine in Les Mis awhile back and I had always said she should play a princess specifically Tiana in a Princess and the Frog musical. Last night, I got to watch her be a princess and while it was yet another big moment in Wicked and Broadway history, it was a fantastic night for a truly fantastic actress.

Everything Brittney did as Glinda was wonderful - she wonderfully brought Galinda to Glinda in a fantastic arc. She never overdid anything and everything she did was spot on. Her chemistry with the company was wonderful and she and Jessica proved to be quite the pair.

Her voice is stunning and she made the vocal theatrics of Glinda seem effortless. Her Thank Goodness was incredible and hearing her sing the bridge about dreams and what you want got me.

I am so glad I took the chance to go see her and when she does go on again I cant recommend highly enough going.

I also just want to add that regardless of the historic nature of this turn of events, Brittney gave one of the best Glinda performances I've seen in my time seeing Wicked. Yes, the moment is historic for Wicked and Broadway, but tonight a fantastic understudy got to come and go by bubble and killed it.

Updated On: 1/12/19 at 10:08 AM