This has been the hot topic this week in the theatre world (you know, aside from how much blood is currently being used in American Psycho). My boyfriend found this link and sent it to me and immediately I shook my head.
This is simply poor wording on the part of (Bernie) Telsey & Co. Someone pointed out that Bright Star wrote “all roles are Caucasian” in their casting announcement but they weren’t receiving any flak (that show is also not the mega-hit that Hamilton so it’s not under the same microscope).
The difference is, I think, that Hamilton’s casting notice was exclusive of a huge group of people, while Bright Star’s announcement wasn’t telling any “NON-[Insert Ethnicity]” to audition. Bright Star was simply stating a fact: their cast is white, but feel free to waste your (and our) time and audition if you want to.
Can I just point out that if you’re an actor auditioning for Hamilton and you’re white and you don’t already know that you’re not going to be cast as any of the leads, you’re doing your job [of staying knowledgable about the industry] poorly. Sierra Boggess isn’t trying to audition for The Lion King because she knows better.
While it was in poor taste of Telsey & Co. to write a casting notice so horribly worded, I think the backlash they’re receiving is also due in part to White People looking for a reason, any reason, to play the victim and shout about how they’re being discriminated against when, obviously, they’re not. At all. It’s like when Christians scream about the War on Christianity. It’s not an actual thing.
Maybe White People can just accept the fact that not every show will need their talents, front and center, from now on. Otherwise, not that Bernie Telsey will actually read this, but I hope this “controversy” will make casting directors think about how they word future announcements.
‘Hamilton’ hiring practices under fire due to discrimination