Kent State University was undoubtedly excited about putting on a production of the musical “West Side Story” this fall, but plans for the stage hit have been canceled. Reason? Too many white students secured lead roles in the play. According to KentWired.com, Fox News, Campus Reform, and other outlets, the university’s theatre director decided to bring the lights down on the production due to the school-wide outrage that followed the casting announcements.
“The cancellation of West Side Story was in response to our community members’ voices and the national dialogue regarding the desire for authenticity on our stages,” Theatre and Dance Director Eric van Baars told Fox News. “To be current and culturally engaged, the School of Theatre and Dance supports the progression of conscious casting in the American theatre today.”
Have you ever read a bigger load of horse manure in your life? The progression of conscious casting. That sounds like the end stages of a terminal disease.
The story goes that Bridgett Martinez, a junior at the school, and several other Latino students were passed over for roles in the musical – roles which were subsequently given to white students. Now the university will be putting on a production of “Children of Eden” so as to avoid the controversy altogether.
Martinez said that while it was good that they canceled the musical, she would like to see the school focus more on diversity when casting their productions.
“Something we would like to continue to push for is have a person of color in that room all the time – auditions, callbacks, cast lists being made – because we should have someone on our side in that room,” she told KentWired.com.
This is so ridiculous that it barely justifies any further comment, but the problem here is self-evident in the solution that Kent State chose. If people of color (and goddamn, we hate that term a little bit more every day), gays, transgenders, and other supposedly-marginalized groups continue to make a scene every time Hollywood and the theater don’t cast these things the way they think they should, what do you think is going to ultimately happen? They will stop getting made. At all. Full stop. When you can’t even draw a picture of Serena Williams without aggrieved race writers coming out of the woodwork like angry Islamists who just saw a cartoon of The Prophet, cartoonists will just…stop drawing black people. Directors will stop making movies about gays. Netflix will stop producing shows about transgender inmates.
At some point, you have to take YES for an answer.
But these people have been raised, trained, and educated to turn their oppression into an identity. If they aren’t fighting the system, they no longer know who they are. Until and unless we teach the next generation that they are whole and complete even without their victim status, this is just going to get worse and worse.