In For a Penny: No One is Bulletproof

In which I reiterate that just because something (or someone) has a large fanbase does not mean they’re above reproach.

*[2022 Update: If the original link (below) no longer works, the entire piece is available in the attached screenshot.]

San Francisco Theater Pub

Charles Lewis III on backlash and sacred cows.

Luke Cage deflecting bullets

“As a matter of fact, we are none of us above criticism; so let us bear with each others’ faults.”
– L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of OZ

After my recent entry about August Wilson, I had a Twitter conversation with another Black theatre artist regarding Amiri Baraka, one of Wilson’s influences. I’ve always been open with my affinity for Baraka’s poetry, but found him lacking as a playwright. As clear as I was about this, the woman on Twitter kept asking “Why are you picking on Amiri?”

With “breaking the rules” being Theater Pub’s theme for September, here was someone implying I’d broken the unwritten rule of marginalized artists: “Never criticise your own! We get that enough from the Straight/White/Cis/Christian men who oppress us!” That was bullshit the first time I heard it and it’s bullshit now.

A common misconception…

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