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“We See You White American Theater” Publishes Demands- Page 4

candydog2
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ErikJ972 said: ""As far as audience goes, there are certain groups that like Broadway more than others. And that’s Ok"

This reminds me of the racist trope that black people don't like to swim.

Many of the responses on this thread just go to show why this document is needed.
"

Is it racist to say that some forms of entertainment are more popular with some communities/minority groups than others? 

 

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ErikJ972
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candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: ""As far as audience goes, there are certain groups that like Broadway more than others. And that’s Ok"

This reminds me of the racist trope that black people don't like to swim.

Many of the responses on this thread just go to show why this document is needed.
"

Is it racist to say that some forms of entertainment are more popular with some communities/minority groupsthan others?


Yes. Also short sighted, ill informed, and bad for Broadway.

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JBroadway
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DigificWriter said: “Countering racism and discrimination withmoreracism and discrimination isn't a solution...

 

I have already explained in THREE of my previous posts in this thread (including one addressed to you) why these measures don’t qualify as “more racism and discrimination.” And several times now I’ve invited you to go read my earlier posts and respond to them in order to make this conversation more productive.  You have either chosen not to read this thread in full, or you have read it, and chosen to ignore what’s already been said to continue pushing the same repetitive point, even though it’s already been addressed. And that tells me all I need to know, so until you start adding to the conversation, this will be my last attempt to engage with you. 

candydog2
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ErikJ972 said: "candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: ""As far as audience goes, there are certain groups that like Broadway more than others. And that’s Ok"

This reminds me of the racist trope that black people don't like to swim.

Many of the responses on this thread just go to show why this document is needed.
"

Is it racist to say that some forms of entertainment are more popular with some communities/minority groupsthan others?


Yes. Also short sighted, ill informed, and bad for Broadway.
"

I would disagree. Statistics can tell you which groups of people (men/women/LGBT/POC etc) are more likely to attend which events. To suggest that it is racist to quote statistics or rely on them to form an opinion is entirely backward. 

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JBroadway
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@candydog

The statistics tell us that theatre audiences are overwhelmingly white. You interpret that to mean that BIPOC are inherently disinterested in theatre. I would interpret this way:

Maybe they ARE disinterested, but that’s partly because there’s very little engagement with Black communities, and very little theatre being created with Black audiences in mind. Maybe there’s more potential interest out there, but the price of tickets and culture of the theatre community make them feel like they aren’t welcome, if they can afford it. I would wager that many impoverished Black communities can’t afford Beyoncé tickets either, and those that can are willing to shell out the money because her music is more culturally accessible to them.

It’s not that we shouldn’t use statistics. It’s that we shouldn’t look at the statistics and say “oh well then that’s just the way it is.” We should look at the statistics and say “how can we make this situation better?”

EDIT:

Also, the term “white savior” describes a narrative trope. It isn’t meant to deter white people from actively fighting racism. Nothing I have said it this thread was an original thought of mine. Every principle I’m promoting has come from what I’ve heard from BIPOC. And if you ask BIPOC, an overwhelming majority of them will tell you that they’re tired of having to educate white people by themselves, and they want white peoples to speak up. If a Black poster wanted to volunteer to take the lead in this debate, I would allow them to do so while voicing my support for what they say. 
 

Also, pointing out the FACT that Black communities have historically been forced into poverty and denied access to well-funded education is not the same thing as calling Black people “poor and stupid” 

Updated On: 7/11/20 at 10:57 AM
DigificWriter
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HogansHero said: "To you, BLM et al is just some child's tantrum."

That's not what I said in any way, shape, or form, and your insinuation to the contrary borders on flaming.

I dismissed this specific manifesto as being equivalent to a child's tantrum because of its contents and presentation.

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HogansHero
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DigificWriter said: "HogansHero said: "I dismissed this specific manifesto as being equivalent to a child's tantrum because of its contents and presentation."

Yes, and that is a sort of dismissal reserved to one speaking from a privileged position (e.g., a parent or perhaps a teacher). That you still think you have such a position is manifest in everything you are writing here. When you figure out that it is time to cede that assumed position, you can answer my question (as well as similar ones of others) and we can have a constructive discussion. Right now, you remind me of the portrayal of King George in Hamilton, except for the comedy.

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HogansHero
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candydog2 said: "I would disagree. Statistics can tell you which groups of people (men/women/LGBT/POC etc) are more likely to attend which events. To suggest that it is racist to quote statistics or rely on them to form an opinion is entirely backward."

The point is: it's a chicken and egg problem; if you produce and market to certain demographics, you're gonna get that demographic in your seats. That's why a big part of the solution here has to be bringing many more non-white people into positions of power in the producing and marketing of shows. (I would extend that to the ownership of theatres as well.)

spidernight
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JBroadway, you are the epitome of the white saviour. Rather than let black people decide what entertainment experiences to spend their hard earned money on, you deny their ability to choose for themselves and argue that instead, they are turned off by price and “the culture of the theatre community”. It’s obvious that BIPOC with money exist as they’re paying for those NBA and concert tickets. And with rush tickets, TDF, standing room, it’s much much cheaper to find a way to get into a Broadway show than an arena concert or NBA game. So poverty isn’t the cause.

 

As far your argument about the “culture of the theatre community making them feel unwelcome”. I’m not sure what that means but I believe that many, especially non-theater goers, would see the “culture of the theatre community” as synonymous to or a part of “gay culture.” It’s true that statistically, black people as a group have historically been  less supportive of the gay community and same sex marriage than other groups (https://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/) but I don’t think it’s the culture of the theatre community that needs to change.    

 

And don’t get me started on your “there’s very little theatre being created with black audiences in mind”. First, black people can easily enjoy the same shows that white people do and to suggest they need special shows created for them in mind can be considered by some to be segregationist and/or offensive. Second, there’s actually SO MUCH theater created for black audiences. In the last couple of years we’ve seen Hamilton, Caroline or change, color purple, aint too proud, tina, slave play, choir boy, and I’m saying that off the the top of my head. There are certainly more that I’m missing not to mention off-broadway shows I am not familiar with.

 

Finally, you say you’re speaking on behalf of BIPOC because they are “tired” of speaking for themselves and need/want you to speak up for them. Geez, do you listen to yourself? And the funny thing is, you think you’re some kind of hero for speaking for other people and telling them what they should like.

 

Outside of that, Kad made a good point about people working backstage or in creative, budgetary and casting being overwhelmingly white. If that’s true and BIPOC are underrepresented, then that’s a legitimate grievance and should definitely be remedied.

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itsjustmejonhotmailcom
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spidernight said: "JBroadway, you are the epitome of the white saviour. Rather than let black people decide what entertainment experiences to spend their hard earned money on, you deny their ability to choose for themselves and argue that instead, they are turned off by price and “the culture of the theatre community”. It’s obvious that BIPOC with money exist as they’re paying for those NBA and concert tickets. And with rush tickets, TDF, standing room, it’s much much cheaper to find a way to get into a Broadway show than an arena concert or NBA game. So poverty isn’t the cause.

As far your argument about the “culture of the theatre community making them feel unwelcome”. I’m not sure what that means but I believe that many, especially non-theater goers, would see the “culture of the theatre community” as synonymous to or a part of “gay culture.” It’s true that statistically, black people as a group have historically been less supportive of the gay community and same sex marriage than other groups (https://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/) but I don’t think it’s the culture of the theatre community that needs to change.



And don’t get me started on your “there’s very little theatre being created with black audiences in mind”. First, black people can easily enjoy the same shows that white people do and to suggest they need special shows created for them in mind can be considered by some to be segregationist and/or offensive. Second, there’s actually SO MUCH theater created for black audiences. In the last couple of years we’ve seen Hamilton, Caroline or change, color purple, aint too proud, tina, slave play, choir boy, and I’m saying that off the the top of my head. There are certainly more that I’m missing not to mention off-broadway shows I am not familiar with.



Finally, you say you’re speaking on behalf of BIPOC because they are “tired” of speaking for themselves and need/want you to speak up for them. Geez, do you listen to yourself? And the funny thing is, you think you’re some kind of hero for speaking for other people and telling them what they should like.



Outside of that, Kad made a good point about people working backstage or in creative, budgetary and casting being overwhelmingly white. If that’s true and BIPOC are underrepresented, then that’s a legitimate grievance and should definitely be remedied.
"

 

Spidernight, so do you also think there are very few Black CEO's and Back board members of companies because Black people just aren't interested in those things? That's how ridiculous your argument sounds. From 2008-2015, 80% of all actors on Brodway were white, while only 45% of the population of NYC is white. Does that seem right? People tend to want to see themselves and their stories on stage. The vast vast majority of people and stories that have been told on Broadway stages have been white. Even the shows you named "off the top of your head" were only 7 out of what, probably 115 new shows during that time period?

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@spidernight

"It’s obvious that BIPOC with money exist as they’re paying for those NBA and concert tickets."

BIPOC with money exist. Obviously. Nobody is disputing that. I'm speaking in a broader sense. Are you denying that many Black communities have historically been kept in poverty at disproportionate rate? Because if so, please do some research and get back to me. 

"And with rush tickets, TDF, standing room, it’s much much cheaper to find a way to get into a Broadway show than an arena concert or NBA game. So poverty isn’t the cause."

Rush tickets, TDF, and SRO are not well-known to the general theatre going public. If you go up to a tourist at the TKTS boot - of any race - it's unlikely that they will know about these cheaper options. Maybe one solution is to spread more knowledge of these cheaper options within low-income communities as a marketing/outreach method. As for NBA and concerts, I addressed that point in my earlier post about the culture of the theatre community being geared toward white people. 

"As far your argument about the “culture of the theatre community making them feel unwelcome”. I’m not sure what that means but I believe that many, especially non-theater goers, would see the “culture of the theatre community” as synonymous to or a part of “gay culture.” It’s true that statistically, black people as a group have historically been less supportive of the gay community and same sex marriage than other groups (https://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/)"

The fact that theatre has close ties with gay culture doesn't change the racial disparity of the community. A disproportionate number of the gay people in the theatre community are white, as well as the many straight people in the community. Also, are you claiming that Black people don't go to the theatre because they're homophobic? That's a wild theory. Is there a homophobia problem in many Black communities? Sure. Does that discourage some homophobic Black people from going to the theatre? Maybe. But citing that as the primary factor in why theatre audiences are predominately white is to ignore all of the other systemic and cultural factors involved. Plus, with theatre becoming somewhat more mainstream in recent years, I don't agree that theatre is still considered "synonymous" with the gay community.

"I don’t think it’s the culture of the theatre community that needs to change."

Yes, you've made that quite clear. But obviously most BIPOC in the theatre community disagree with you, as this document proves. So, who should we listen to on this subject? You, or the people who have lived these experiences first hand? 

"Black people can easily enjoy the same shows that white people do and to suggest they need special shows created for them in mind can be considered by some to be segregationist and/or offensive."

Of course they can enjoy them too. But it can be difficult for many BIPOC to feel comfortable and welcome in a space where most of the audience is white, most of the actors are white, and all of the people behind the scenes are white. That doesn't mean a Black person can't be moved by a predominately white play. But it might not be as meaningful to them as seeing a play that speaks to their lived experiences. Especially when their options for plays written by Black people are comparatively limited. We as white people don't know what that's like, because our experiences as white people are CONSTANTLY being reflected in all media. 

And it's not segregationist, because I'm not implying that white people shouldn't go see Black plays. We absolutely should. There should be a mix of voices, and a mix of audience members. We have that now, but it's  still too far skewed in one direction, so the goal is to even things out. 

"There’s actually SO MUCH theater created for black audiences. In the last couple of years we’ve seen Hamilton, Caroline or change, color purple, aint too proud, tina, slave play, choir boy, and I’m saying that off the the top of my head. There are certainly more that I’m missing not to mention off-broadway shows I am not familiar with."

itsjustmejonhotmailcom address this point above. I agree with what he said. You're right that there ARE many more shows about Black people that you didn't name. And you're right that it's better now than it used to be. But that's not the point. Because the number of shows about POC is still minimal compared to the number of shows about white people. Not to mention that many of the shows about BIPOC are written and/or directed by white people. And even the ones written by BIPOC are often tailored for white audiences, because playwrights often feel pressured to write their plays with a white audience in mind, in the hopes of getting their plays produced at predominately white theatres (again, this is a complaints I've frequently heard/read from BIPOC writers - I'm not just making this up. There was a even a whole play specifically about this trend, called "Endlings" playing at NYTW when the theatres shut down) 
 

EDIT: I wrote several paragraphs defending my choice to speak out on this subject, and why I believe I'm right to relay perspectives I've heard from PIBOC. But I'm choosing to delete these paragraphs because I think they're distracting from the topic at hand. This isn't about me or my choices. It's about racism in the theatre industry. If you think I'm wrong to take this role in the debate, fine. But let's focus on the actual content of the debate. I take responsibility for rising to your initial taunt, but I'm choosing to drop the subject. 

That said, if any BIPOC are reading this and want to call me out, tell me I AM being a white savior, correct any mistakes I've made in this thread, I would welcome that, and change my behavior accordingly. 

Updated On: 7/11/20 at 07:15 PM
spidernight
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Itsjustmejonhotmailicom, the things you’re writing are so incredibly off that I feel dumber just reading them. You’re honestly comparing becoming a CEO to being an audience member of a show? One of those is a position of power you have to be appointed for and for the other you simply have to buy a ticket, something anyone with some money can do. You really don’t see the difference? In your mind, the reason that a person does not buy a ticket to something is not because they know what they like and what they don’t like but because they need to be lectured on what entertainment they should enjoy.

 

Equally dumb is ignoring the increased diversity of the last five years (the Times article I cited earlier has minorities taking on 35% of roles) and instead bringing up an unsourced stat that ends in 2015 and then comparing that stat to the population of New York City. Surely you’re aware that Broadway only exists in New York City and performers come from all over the country (and possibly the world) to achieve their dreams. In your warped head, you think Broadway actors only come from New York City and thus the demographics of Broadway actors should match New York City’s population? The US census has the white population of this country at 76%. If you’re going to go by the strange and absurd supposition that the demographics of Broadway performers should match population demographics, that’s the number to use but I encourage you not to go by that supposition because it’s idiotic.

 

As far as “white shows” vs “black shows”, whatever that means to you, there were clearly more than 7 shows directed at black audiences. I’m just not going to start researching it.  I’m also not sure what a “white show” is (any show that isn’t predominantly POC? hadestown? Lion King? Aladdin? To Kill a Mockingbird?) and why you think black people are incapable of enjoying them. I’m sure you’d concede that white people are capable of enjoying Hamilton and the rest.

 

As for JBroadway, you’re so woke you must be jittering from all that caffeine. The first thing I want to say is in response to you writing “we as white people.” I’m actually not white. Your mind must be exploding right now. Anyway, if your goal is reduce poverty among black communities or any other community, then I support that goal. But you’re using poverty as a reason why black people spend their money on entertainment other than Broadway shows, and it’s simply illogical. A google search shows that 79% of black people nationally don't live in poverty (In your mind that number was what, 10 percent?). Those 79% should in theory be able to afford a balcony ticket or something. They simply dont want to go.

 

As for your comment “are you claiming that black people don’t go to theatre because they’re homophobic”, you clearly lack reading comprehension skills. Let me say it again and make it clear: the reason black people as a group are less likely to go to theatre is because they simply don’t want to and want to spend their hard earned money on other forms of entertainment. You’re the one that brought up “theater culture” as a reason and I responded saying I genuinely don’t know what that is. What I do know, however, is that if I invited a friend to a show and he said “I don’t feel comfortable around theater culture,” I would take that as a euphemism for a homophobic statement. Maybe I’m wrong to take it that way. Similarly if I invited someone to a basketball game and they said “I don’t feel comfortable around basketball culture” I would take that as a euphemism for a racist statement.

 

As far as the number of shows that appeal to black audiences, I only mentioned them since you claimed that a reason blacks go to less theater is because people don’t write shows for black audiences in mind. They clearly do. And the black population has largely decided not to spend their money on them. And that is their right. Your response goes on a tangent of how BIPOC are pressured to write for white audiences or how shows about BIPOC are written/directed by white people but those are separate issues. My point was that the reason black people don’t go to the theater is because they don’t want to, not because not enough shows are trying to appeal to them. As far as black people being uncomfortable sitting in an audience of mostly white people watching mostly white performers, well, I don’t know what to say to that one. If we were talking about a Nascar race in Mississippi with confederate flags flown outside I would completely understand that sentiment, but that’s not the situation here. If the white people are doing or saying something to make black people uncomfortable, I would absolutely condemn that but it seems like their only crime here is being white. I also do know if a white guy told me he’s uncomfortable going to a cricket match where the players and audience are 65-80% Indian, I would think there was something wrong with him. I wouldn’t think we need to lecture more white people on why they should like cricket.

 

Anyway, this will be my last post on this topic as these posts are time consuming, good debating and take care.  

Updated On: 7/12/20 at 09:49 PM
bwaylvsong1
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I love this in theory and it would absolutely be a step in the right direction. From my observations as an actor in the industry, one huge root issue that this does not entirely address is that the vast majority of people pursuing careers in theatre are white. Anyone who looks around a holding room at an audition will inevitably see a sea of white faces. I found some hard numbers at the link below and did some calculations based on the demands:
https://actorsequity.org/aboutequity/annualstudy/2018-2019-annual-report.pdf

In the 2018-2019 season, there were:
51938 members of AEA
34607 white members (67%)
17331 BIPOC members (33%)
19369 members employed (37% employment)

If the demands had theoretically been implemented, there would have been:
9684 white members employed
9685 BIPOC members employed
9684/34607= 28% of white members employed
9685/17331= 56% of BIPOC members employed

While much better than tokenism and the Rooney Rule, this is still not equitable. In order for there to be true equity, there will have to be more BIPOC in the mix to begin with. I don’t know whether that would entail education, outreach, or something else.  Hopefully if changes are implemented, there will be more BIPOC entering the industry because they know they would have a greater chance of succeeding.

Updated On: 7/11/20 at 09:56 PM
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A few thoughts:

1. There is so much racism in this thread that if it were hooked up to electricity the fuse would have blown a long time ago.

2. Racism and systemic racism are not interchangeable evils.

3. It has taken us 400 or so years to get into the present predicament. We will not extricate ourselves from it in 4 weeks.

4. This is a complicated stuff. It does not admit of a facile solution. We will not all agree on how best to get it done. If we can't all agree on the best way to get from Union Square to LaGuardia, we are certainly not going to agree on how to eradicate systemic racism in the theatre.

5. We must start the process, and that consists of listening and learning, and that requires getting our feelings hurt and getting provoked and getting angry, etc etc etc. But this is what we must do. Now.

6. One threshold truth is essential right now: we have to treat the racists as if their fuse really had blown. They are not a part of this conversation, and we have to develop a radar to remind ourselves we must disengage from those who have no intention of engaging. You don't have a voice in solving a problem when you are the problem.

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ErikJ972
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candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: "candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: ""As far as audience goes, there are certain groups that like Broadway more than others. And that’s Ok"

This reminds me of the racist trope that black people don't like to swim.

Many of the responses on this thread just go to show why this document is needed.
"

Is it racist to say that some forms of entertainment are more popular with some communities/minority groupsthan others?


Yes. Also short sighted, ill informed, and bad for Broadway."

I would disagree. Statistics can tell you which groups of people (men/women/LGBT/POC etc) are more likely to attend which events. To suggest that it is racist to quote statistics or rely on them to form an opinion is entirely backward.
"

Well. You would be wrong. Stats don't do anything to prove causation.

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qolbinau
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I do think it’s hard to win either argument. On one hand it does sound a little condescending, pretentious and maybe optically a little ‘racist’ (depending on who is saying it) to claim that certain cultural groups should be spending their time and money pursuing other types of activities and art than they might currently. On the other hand, I can see that those who believe in the power of theatre to tell stories, explore ideas, entertain etc would want as many people as possible to explore and enjoy it.

Anyway, I wonder if after 36 pages of demands (some more realistic than others) they need a shorter version focussing on some of the key ideas and more of a plan or they risk it being ignored?

I also wonder if as somewhat discussed earlier whether the answer is not trying to fight existing power systems but to pursue their own vision in their own theatre company with their own leaders and artists? This is what is great about a capitalist, entrepreneurial free society.
"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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HogansHero
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qolbinau said: "I do think it’s hard to win either argument. On one hand it does sound a little condescending, pretentious and maybe optically a little ‘racist’ (depending on who is saying it) to claim that certain cultural groups should be spending their time and money pursuing other types of activities and art than they might currently. On the other hand, I can see that those who believe in the power of theatre to tell stories, explore ideas, entertain etc would want as many people as possible to explore and enjoy it.

Anyway, I wonder if after 36 pages of demands (some more realistic than others) they need a shorter version focussing on some of the key ideas and more of a plan or they risk it being ignored?

I also wonder if as somewhat discussed earlier whether the answer is not trying to fight existing power systems but to pursue their own vision in their own theatre company with their own leaders and artists? This is what is great about a capitalist, entrepreneurial free society.
"

I don't think (hardly) anyone thinks that this document is the final word on anything. I see it as a shot across the bow and a spur to conversation and hopefully real change. There will certainly be refinement and (as you call it) focusing, and also a great deal of back and forth (with, as an example, Tonya Pinkins's piece as an early example of another shot across another bow). I don't think the answer is binary: change is needed both within and outside of "existing power systems." 

candydog2
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ErikJ972 said: "candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: "candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: ""As far as audience goes, there are certain groups that like Broadway more than others. And that’s Ok"

This reminds me of the racist trope that black people don't like to swim.

Many of the responses on this thread just go to show why this document is needed.
"

Is it racist to say that some forms of entertainment are more popular with some communities/minority groupsthan others?


Yes. Also short sighted, ill informed, and bad for Broadway."

I would disagree. Statistics can tell you which groups of people (men/women/LGBT/POC etc) are more likely to attend which events. To suggest that it is racist to quote statistics or rely on them to form an opinion is entirely backward.
"

Well. You would be wrong. Stats don't do anything to prove causation."

I wasn't talking about causation though. I was just talking about the breakdown of statistics which are apparently wrong according to you. I'm not suggesting that I know why the statistics break down that way, I was acknowledging what they currently are.

But hey, you're the expert.

 

Mercades
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This is all a massive shame that someone (or someones) would hijack an important and vital movement with this nonsense. This is performative and actually works against what hundreds of people are trying to do to improve where the entertainment industry is. 

 

Whoever wrote this doesn't know business. Or numbers for that matter. 

 

This is counterproductive and will now just result in eye rolls and no reform. 

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candydog2 said: "I wasn't talking about causation though. I was just talking about the breakdown of statistics which are apparently wrong according to you. I'm not suggesting that I know why the statistics break down that way, I was acknowledging what they currently are."

I am trying to understand the relevance of statistics divorced from causation. As I said earlier, it is a chicken and egg problem. Statistics are not inherently racist, and marketing is not inherently racist, but marketing based on statistics that are the consequence of systemic racism (and it is not controversial to say that whites currently control the marketing of shows [among many other things of course] and thus the formulation of the statistics) is inherently tainted. And that's what this is all about.  

beatofthedrum27
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This is a very interesting conversation to me. I’ve been doing a lot of research. I’ve wanted to take the opportunity to do MY OWN stats and not some that are being thrown at me. With the country being 61% (approximate) white, obviously most people in a lot of situations are going to be white people. The country is also about 14% African-American and 19% latinx. So if it was actually proportionate, approximately 61% of theatre actors would be white and about 39% would be BIPOC. If you count up every actor in every single show currently on broadway, you would see that the percentage is actually 48.7% white and 51.3% BIPOC. So broadway shows being white-washed is no longer a major issue because the numbers are even despite the percentages being disproportionate the other way now. But representation is good so that awesome that those are the percentages. And I also think that BIPOC are more likely to discriminated against once they are in a show, but the problem is no longer broadway needing more people of color. The problem now is not understanding that they should be treated equally within the show and that comes down to just basic people skills. Once again, these percentages are only actors. And I get that most of the people higher up are white, but I feel like this is mostly because of the percentages of the population. Although there are starting to be more BIPOC in higher places that are breaking these stats down. We just have to give it time to get there as the numbers rise. Thank you all for being able to conversate. And thanks for coming to my ted talk!

 

itsjustmejonhotmailcom Profile Photo
itsjustmejonhotmailcom
Broadway Star
joined:5/29/13
Broadway Star
joined:
5/29/13

beatofthedrum27 said: "This is a very interesting conversation to me. I’ve been doing a lot of research. I’ve wanted to take the opportunity to do MY OWN stats and not some that are being thrown at me. With the country being 61% (approximate) white, obviously most people in a lot of situations are going to be white people. The country is also about 14% African-American and 19% latinx. So if it was actually proportionate, approximately 61% of theatre actors would be white and about 39% would be BIPOC. If you count up every actor in every single show currently on broadway, you would see that the percentage is actually 48.7% white and 51.3% BIPOC. So broadway shows being white-washed is no longer a major issue because the numbers are even despite the percentages being disproportionate the other way now. But representation is good so that awesome that those are the percentages. And I also think that BIPOC are more likely to discriminated against once they are in a show, but the problem is no longer broadway needing more people of color. The problem now is not understanding that they should be treated equally within the show and that comes down to just basic people skills. Once again, these percentages are only actors. And I get that most of the people higher up are white, but I feel like this is mostly because of the percentages of the population. Although there are starting to be more BIPOC in higher places that are breaking these stats down. We just have to give it time to get there as the numbers rise. Thank you all for being able to conversate. And thanks for coming to my ted talk!

"

It's also important to look at several seasons at a time. A Tina or Ain't Too Proud can tip the scale towards a more diverse season, but that's been the exception not the rule. But it's a good sign that perhaps things are starting to change. Equally, I'd say even more, important are the rest of the team. Writers, Directors, Designers, Stagehands sets are all still overwhelmingly white. And the people who control what we see: theater owners, producers, investors etc are still almost entirely white.

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orangeskittles
Broadway Legend
joined:1/8/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/8/05

What 6-day rehearsals have to do with "peoples recovering from genocide"? It's not an unreasonable demand to want a 5 day work week, but linking it to the genocide of Indigenous people (just Indigenous people?) is odd.


Also, there was a reference to the fact that only 11% of the world population is white (which is inaccurate, it's about 15%, which is still slightly more than African and Latinx), except this document is specifically about American theatre, where white people make up 60% of the population.

If they want to better reflect world population, then 25% board membership should be East Asian and 25% should be South Asian. I'm fine with that, but will the majority of BIPOC be ok with Asian people (who make up 5% of the US population) controlling American theatre, while still marginalizing and excluding Black and Latinx people from leadership positions based on their proportional world ethnic percentages? Because that's what they're calling for. Some of these points just aren't well thought-out.

Like a firework unexploded
Wanting life but never knowing how
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ErikJ972
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/26/03

candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: "candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: "candydog2 said: "ErikJ972 said: ""As far as audience goes, there are certain groups that like Broadway more than others. And that’s Ok"

This reminds me of the racist trope that black people don't like to swim.

Many of the responses on this thread just go to show why this document is needed.
"

Is it racist to say that some forms of entertainment are more popular with some communities/minority groupsthan others?


Yes. Also short sighted, ill informed, and bad for Broadway."

I would disagree. Statistics can tell you which groups of people (men/women/LGBT/POC etc) are more likely to attend which events. To suggest that it is racist to quote statistics or rely on them to form an opinion is entirely backward.
"

Well. You would be wrong. Stats don't do anything to prove causation."

I wasn't talking about causation though. I was just talking about the breakdown of statistics which are apparently wrong according to you. I'm not suggesting that I know why the statistics break down that way, I was acknowledging what they currently are.

But hey, you're the expert."

This makes no sense.

broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/18/03

I read this whole thread. Now I need to go make a WHOLE pot of tea. There is SO much within this thread that would comical if the topic were not the passions and livelihood of people and their perceived worth as artists and humans.

I won't say very much here because, frankly, I'm not wearing any bomb proof protection and this field of landmines is a wreck.

This subject is not a linear path to an end point. It is a VERY complex maze of countless moving parts.

What I will say is this:

Are there a lot of racist people? ABSOLUTELY.

Can you disagree with things in this document - even as a white person - and have it not be rooted in racism? ABSOLUTELY.

And that group of people who disagree are precisely the people to engage with - from both sides - to identify blind spots, to learn and exchange knowledge, and to hopefully help all of us get to a better place in the future. Doing that, however, requires that you begin from a place of recognizing that the end goal is common and that, as passionately and deeply as you feel, the actual fight is not with one another.