Chicago has a lively theater scene. It’s one of the few places in the country where an aspiring stage actor can hope to be discovered. For example, in the 1970s a bunch of Midwestern kids started the Steppenwolf troupe and launched the careers of members like John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, and Laurie Metcalf.
Commenter OT But writes:
OT but Steve’s old stomping grounds:Steppenwolf’s current management has behaved shamefully:
Steppenwolf theater in Chicago puts on a black ripoff of Waiting for Godot (“Pass Over”) in which the deus ex caucasia is a white cop shooting one or both of them at the end.
Veteran white reviewer Hedy Weiss for the Chicago Sun-Times gives it a “somewhat recommended” review but has problems with the end:
No one can argue with the fact that this city … has a problem with the use of deadly police force against African-Americans. But, for all the many and varied causes we know so well, much of the lion’s share of the violence is perpetrated within the community itself.A group of artists with Stalinesque name of the “Chicago Theater Accountability Coalition” go after her because “she is not willing to work with us to create a positive environment. She has proven this repeatedly with the racism, homophobia, and body shaming found in her reviews.” Petition started to blacklist her.
Chicago Tribune reports today the blacklist threats have been working, with 70 theaters promising to boycott her.
Weiss’ critics point to what they feel are some notable transgressions over the years. These include a 2004 review of Tony Kushner’s play “Caroline, or Change,” in which she referred to the playwright as writing “in the classic style of a self-loathing Jew”; a 2013 review of a work about the racial profiling of Muslims in which Weiss cited the Boston Marathon bombing and wrote, “What practical alternative to racial profiling do you suggest?”; and of body-shaming for this, about a recent production of “Mamma Mia!”: “Theresa Ham’s character-defining costumes make the most of the many ‘real women’ figures on stage, just as the gold and silver spandex outfits outline the perfect bodies of the terrific chorus dancers.”Pull quote from some other black playwright: “This is about culturally white theater spaces and the white critics who preserve systemic inequity. Hedy is just a white person aligned with whiteness, no surprise there.”
Steppenwolf Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director David Schmitz … said in a statement that Weiss’ review “once again revealed a deep-seated bigotry and a painful lack of understanding of this country’s historic racism.”It would be interesting to get a reaction from former Steppenwolf artistic director Gary Sinise.
Anyway, a general point is to notice how much of today’s anti-white hatred is ginned up by a tiny number of individuals for extremely obvious careerist reasons, such as to ensure themselves good reviews or more acting awards.