“I Think It Stinks. Thoughts?”
My stance on the statement “I’m bored of breakdowns asking for BAME’
I want to start with this. I cannot condone what she said. Not at all. It’s ignorant, unintentionally racist and unhealthy for the progression and integration of our industry. To say that you find ‘Bame Casting boring’ is nothing but an insult. Whether you meant it to be hurtful or not, as a minority that is openly struggling to find a justified place in the world of Musical Theatre, you’re either with us or against us. And unfortunately, your careless post marked you as against us.
Before I took to social media to vent my opinion, I did some research. I asked multiple sources about the story, and found out the following. The agent in question has written this message into a private group on facebook. An allegedly safe space. Someone in the group took so much offence to her ignorant post, that they felt compelled to screenshot it, and send it to a diversity for the arts activist accounts. The twitterverse heard their call to action and jumped on board for the ride.
Cut to today, where I woke up with a dozen messages with the screenshot in question, with friends expecting me to grab my ammo and lock on to the agency that started this.
Friends, know this; I WILL NOT be a part of this witch hunt. The person that took her private message and aired her dirty laundry to twitter and social media has done our movement a disservice. Playing up to the stereotype of ‘Angry Black People’ and imploring the public to grab pitchforks and hurl abuse? I even saw tweets begging clients to leave her as an agent?
These are delicate times. We’re on the cusp of shattering the glass ceiling, and any conversations however negative, can have a positive impact. The ignorant can be informed!
If you’re reading this, you’re inevitably one of the following. Please find the closing statement that best suits you, read it, and email me if you have any comments.
I am a BAME actor that feels attacked.
So am I. I’m with you. But as a minority in a political climate where a Cheeto is the president of America, I implore you to have conversations with bigots. If you encounter systematic racism, challenge it and discuss it. Change someone’s opinion with fact, not anger.
I am a White actor that agrees with the statement made.
Email me, let’s get a coffee and have a chat. You are wrong, know that now. We’re not stealing anyone’s jobs. BAME specific breakdowns will never outweigh the opportunities that you have access too. But yeah, coffee?
I am a white actor that disagrees with the statement made.
Before today, I’ve never tweeted or taken a stance on equality in the industry
Why are you here?
I imagine that you’re devastated by the backlash. It probably seems like the industry is stacked against you, and that no matter what you do, you’ll never be on equal footing again. This is what it feels like to be a BAME actor in the industry.