Three hundred theatre heavyweights have come together to put an end to the systemic racism in the industry.
In an open letter addressed to “White American Theatre”, the piece called out the racism many have experienced while also demanding change.
“We have watched you un-challenge your white privilege, inviting us to traffic in the very racism and patriarchy that festers in our bodies, while we protest against it on your stages,” the letter reads. “We have watched you promote anti-blackness again and again… We have watched you exploit us, shame us, diminish us, and exclude us. We see you. We have always seen you. And now you will see us.”
The emotional letter comes in the weeks following George Floyd’s death, which prompted #BlackLivesMatter protests across the world.
The piece slams white theatre-makers making shows for white audiences, which takes up a “slot for a BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour] play.”
“We stand on this ground as BIPOC theatre-makers, multi-generational, at varied stages in our careers, but fiercely in love with the theatre,” the letter continued. “Too much to continue it under abuse. We will wrap the least privileged among us in protection, and fearlessly share our many truths.”
Adding, “You are all a part of this house of cards built on white fragility and supremacy. And this is a house that will not stand.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sandra Oh, Uzo Aduba, Sterling K. Brown, Cynthia Erivo, David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, Billy Porter, Issa Rae and Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes are just a few of the signers.
Read the entire letter here.