A Raisin in the Sun, Academy Awards, Alex Proyas, Black authors, Black Boy, Black characters, Black History Month, Black playwrights, Black theatre, blackface, Charles Lewis III, Chiwetel Ejiofor, color-blind casting, diversity, Gods of Egypt, Hamilton, In For a Penny, Katori Hall, Laurence Olivier, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Lorraine Hansberry, Maggie Smith, MLK Martin Luther King Jr, musical theatre, Oscars, OscarsSoWhite, Othello, race relations in America, race relations in the United States, racism, Richard Wright, San Francisco Olympians Festival, San Francisco Theater Pub, SF Olympians, SF Theater Pub, The Mountaintop, White privilege, whitesplaining, whitewashing, William Shakespeare
In which I end Black History Month discussing a very White Oscars and a certain musical about Alexander Hamilton.
Charles Lewis III weighs in on some recent controversy.
“In 1985, I’m sitting in the casting office of a major studio. The head of casting said, ‘I couldn’t put you in a Shakespeare movie, because they didn’t have Black people then.’ He literally said that. I told that casting director: ‘You ever heard of Othello? Shakespeare couldn’t just make up Black people. He saw them’.”
– Wendell Pierce, interview with The New York Times, 24 Feb. 2016
I don’t watch the Grammys. I mostly attribute that to growing up as a fan of The Simpsons, where both the ceremony and its namesake statuette were regularly mocked as being the most worthless of all celebrity milestones (the Golden Globes being a close second). I can also attribute it to the fact that as I grew up, the Grammys’ recipients rarely ever…
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