The Great "Bright" Way

Trish2
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The Great "Bright" Way#1
Posted: 6/24/20 at 11:12am

Just now watching "The View" and Whoopi said one of her theater friends called suggesting they change "The Great White Way" to "The Great Bright Way." Here we go!

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HogansHero
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The Great "Bright" Way#2
Posted: 6/24/20 at 11:33am

A good point. Society including obviously the arts will be reexamining the subtle good-vs-bad meanings attached to the colors white and black that permeate our minds. Black swans, white wedding dresses, black masks, etc.

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The Great "Bright" Way#3
Posted: 6/24/20 at 11:42am

Before people get upset about this being another example "PC police being offended by everything" - 

Consider Hogan's post above, about how small things in our language can perpetuate subconscious bias...

AND, consider the fact that changing something like this harms literally nobody. There are no negative consequences of making a small change like this. People don't use the phrase "great white way" that much anymore anyway, so it will barely effect you in your day to day life. 

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CT2NYC
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The Great "Bright" Way#4
Posted: 6/24/20 at 12:06pm

Considering that most of the lights on Broadway marquees aren’t even white, the old name makes no sense now anyway. 
 

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The Great "Bright" Way#5
Posted: 6/24/20 at 12:34pm
I've always found it off-putting, so much like the legacy robe, I'm on board.
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ErmengardeStopSniveling
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The Great "Bright" Way#6
Posted: 6/24/20 at 1:35pm

It's a fine change and good points have been made above. It's such an "insider" phrase, too (trade publications and Broadway aficionados). And Broadway/TSq sure is BRIGHT nowadays...

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uncageg
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The Great "Bright" Way#7
Posted: 6/24/20 at 1:37pm

I feel like they should leave it alone just as I feel they should have just left the Gypsy Robe alone. Neither were meant to be negative. The robe was taken from the definition of a gypsy. So do we go back and change that definition?

Just give the world Love.
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The Great "Bright" Way#8
Posted: 6/24/20 at 1:38pm
I love it, it's obviously very fitting.
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The Great "Bright" Way#9
Posted: 6/24/20 at 1:47pm

HogansHero said: "A good point. Society including obviously the arts will be reexamining the subtle good-vs-bad meanings attached to the colors white and black that permeate our minds. Black swans, white wedding dresses, black masks, etc."

This seems backwards to me. Instead of changing the meanings of things that are actually black and white, we should stop calling human beings "black" and "white," which are not only inaccurate but are racist terms coined by colonialist Europeans. Not that I expect this to happen within my lifetime.

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uncageg
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The Great "Bright" Way#10
Posted: 6/24/20 at 1:51pm

No, that won't happen and as a member of the Black community, we are ok with being called black or African American. I can't speak for the entire community but in my many years on this earth I haven't met a person that has had a problem with it. We embrace it.

Just give the world Love.
Fosse76
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The Great "Bright" Way#11
Posted: 6/24/20 at 1:55pm

uncageg said: "I feel like they should leave it alone just as I feel they should have just left the Gypsy Robe alone. Neither were meant to be negative. The robe was taken from the definition of a gypsy. So do we go back and change that definition?"

Except for the fact that actors aren't gypsies. At best it's a misappropriation of a term; at worst its racist because it was a term coined by Europeans, who thought they came from Egypt. It was never really acceptable. Should would go back to referring to people from Asia  as "oriental?" It didn't originate to be negative either. 

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The Great "Bright" Way#12
Posted: 6/24/20 at 1:58pm
A much needed change which I’m here for! What other terms are there which we can change?
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The Great "Bright" Way#13
Posted: 6/24/20 at 2:00pm
We kind of are Gypsies though in the send that we are always moving around and traveling from gig to gig, etc.

I think the Legacy robe is a nice change.

But I think changing “the great white way” is kind of just pointing out people’s ignorance since it’s not even remotely tied to race. It’s about a light bulb. But in the same token, it’s not like it’s a loss either way.
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The Great "Bright" Way#14
Posted: 6/24/20 at 2:01pm
We kind of are Gypsies though in the send that we are always moving around and traveling from gig to gig, etc.

I think the Legacy robe is a nice change.

But I think changing “the great white way” is kind of just pointing out people’s ignorance since it’s not even remotely tied to race. It’s about a light bulb. But in the same token, it’s not like it’s a loss either way.
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The Great "Bright" Way#15
Posted: 6/24/20 at 2:01pm
We kind of are Gypsies though in the send that we are always moving around and traveling from gig to gig, etc.

I think the Legacy robe is a nice change.

But I think changing “the great white way” is kind of just pointing out people’s ignorance since it’s not even remotely tied to race. It’s about a light bulb. But in the same token, it’s not like it’s a loss either way.
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The Great "Bright" Way#16
Posted: 6/24/20 at 2:01pm
We kind of are Gypsies though in the send that we are always moving around and traveling from gig to gig, etc.

I think the Legacy robe is a nice change.

But I think changing “the great white way” is kind of just pointing out people’s ignorance since it’s not even remotely tied to race. It’s about a light bulb. But in the same token, it’s not like it’s a loss either way.
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uncageg
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The Great "Bright" Way#17
Posted: 6/24/20 at 2:07pm

Fosse76 said: "uncageg said: "I feel like they should leave it alone just as I feel they should have just left the Gypsy Robe alone. Neither were meant to be negative. The robe was taken from the definition of a gypsy. So do we go back and change that definition?"

Except for the fact that actors aren't gypsies. At bestit's a misappropriation of a term; at worst its racist because it was a term coined by Europeans, who thought they came from Egypt. It was never really acceptable. Should would go back to referring to people from Asia as "oriental?" It didn't originate to be negative either.
"

 

I honestly think we dig too deep into some of these things. I am sure the naming of the robe was not meant to be racist or disrespectful. One definition is a person who wanders from place to place. Chorus members go from show to show. I am sure that is all it meant.

 

Just give the world Love.
SouthernCakes
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The Great "Bright" Way#18
Posted: 6/24/20 at 2:31pm
That is all that was meant.
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The Great "Bright" Way#19
Posted: 6/24/20 at 3:06pm

When the renaming of the Legacy Robe happened, it caused a massive outcry on this board. I put a lot of energy into defending the change, which resulted in several days of intensely heated debate. It brought out a lot of ugliness, and I'm ashamed to say that I recall saying some not-so-respectful things to some other users on this board. I'll try to briefly touch on those points without getting in too deep on the subject. Here are 2 of the threads about it, if you want to read:

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?page=3&thread=1108824

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?page=3&thread=1110889

 

It's a complex issue, but the basic thesis is: impact matters more than the intent. Something doesn't have to be intentionally offensive for it to perpetuate offensive history, language, systems, stereotypes, or biases. In fact, sometimes these things are intended as a sign of respect, as i think was the case with the "gypsy" robe - I'm sure they didn't know that the word "gypsy" is a slur. It's not about punishing anyone for their intentions or their actions, it's about making positive changes to avoid celebrating and perpetuating that problematic history.

I would really encourage people to read through the threads above, because otherwise we risk re-hashing all the same points of an old argument for no reason.  

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The Great "Bright" Way#20
Posted: 6/24/20 at 3:10pm

JBroadway, I get your point, but some of are TELLING you what the intent was. 

Gypsies: A person who wanders from place to place

Actors: Go from show to show

That's all that was meant. There is/was no ill will to it. But if it offended people, then that's reason to change it. Just saying there was no intent other than what's above. Why would Equity want to create a racist tradition? 

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The Great "Bright" Way#21
Posted: 6/24/20 at 3:26pm

RippedMan said: "JBroadway, I get your point, but some of are TELLING you what the intent was." 

 

Sorry, I'm a bit confused:

Did you mean that people in this thread are telling me what the intent was? If so, then yes. I know. As I said in my post, I'm aware of what the intent was, and I'm aware that it was actually considered a term of admiration by the actors using it. But as I said, the intent is not what's relevant. The impact is what's relevant. They probably didn't even know that the term has a racist history, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have a racist history. 

 

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The Great "Bright" Way#22
Posted: 6/24/20 at 3:36pm

What gets me is that some people just decide that it is a slur and do not take, and refuse to take, the rest of the definitions into account. And it happens mostly when something big hits the news and everybody jumps on the bandwagon, so to speak. And basically people are speaking now for people in the past who probably had no bad intentions and decided they didn't know what they were doing or that they were wrong. Did anyone actually go and ask a Gypsy how they felt about the name of the robe or did people just speak for them?

Why were these things not addressed, complained publicly about and changed before something big/horrible happened? Terms we had no problem using until something horrible happened in the news were all of a sudden bad and everybody breaks their necks to  be on the right, "PC",  side of things. And some changes that are made were not even on anybody's radar. 

Just give the world Love.
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The Great "Bright" Way#23
Posted: 6/24/20 at 4:00pm
There’s more to it than “wandering place to place.” The use of gypsy for actor also implies another historic stereotype of nomadic peoples: a fetishized disreputability, particularly of a sexual nature.

Think of how many classic theater-oriented shows, or shows set before the modern post-Sixties era, where references or insinuation are made that the actors in the shows (particularly the chorus girls) are also prostitutes, or at least taking sugar daddies.
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The Great "Bright" Way#24
Posted: 6/24/20 at 4:25pm

darquegk said: "There’s more to it than “wandering place to place.” The use of gypsy for actor also implies another historic stereotype of nomadic peoples: a fetishized disreputability, particularly of a sexual nature.

Think of how many classic theater-oriented shows, or shows set before the modern post-Sixties era, where references or insinuation are made that the actors in the shows (particularly the chorus girls) are also prostitutes, or at least taking sugar daddies.
"

 

And this is what I mean. People won't take it just for what it was meant. 

 

Just give the world Love.
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The Great "Bright" Way#25
Posted: 6/24/20 at 5:14pm

uncageg said: "No, that won't happen and as a member of the Black community, we are ok with being called black or African American. I can't speak for the entire community but in my many years on this earth I haven't met a person that has had a problem with it. We embrace it."

This is part of the problem and what causes confusion. While you say the black community are fine with African American, that's not actually true as I've seen several  black commentators recently saying African American is not an ok term anymore, mainly because not all black people come from/or have ancestors from Africa. Completely understandable and valid comment but the confusion doesnt help people know what the right thing to say is. Especially in a society so obsessed with labels for everyone these days.