Commentary

Commentary: In The UK and US, Bias Infects Theatre Reviews

  • June 22nd, 2015

“You can’t draw sweet water from a foul well,” critic Brooks Atkinson wrote of his initial reaction to the musical Pal Joey. I don’t know whether Christopher Hart of The Sunday Times in London knows this famous quote, but it certainly seems to summarize his approach to reviewing the London premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s The Motherf***er With The…

Commentary: Despite Declaration, Doubting Deadline’s Diversity Apology

  • March 30th, 2015

If you have any interest in the subject of diversity in entertainment, no doubt you’re aware of the firestorm kicked off last week by TV editor and co-editor-in-chief of the entertainment website Deadline, Nellie Andreeva. An article/op-ed under the headline “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of A…

Commentary: Entertainment Reporter Employs False Balance To Undermine TV’s Diversity Efforts

  • March 25th, 2015

In case you haven’t heard, Caucasian actors are being victimized by casting practices at the television networks. They, after holding primacy on screen since the earliest days of television, may – horrors! – have a few less opportunities to secure roles in new television series this year because of an effort by the networks to…

Commentary: Not All Great Works Stay Great, In Text Or Performance

  • October 20th, 2014

As headlines go, “A challenge for the arts: Stop sanitizing and show the great works as they were created” embodies what many of us were taught in school about the well-made essay: tell people what you’re going to tell them, offer support for your thesis, then tell them what you’ve told them. Unlike many instances…

Disability and The Return of “Freak”

  • September 26th, 2014

I anticipate that this October will be the month of “freak,” and not because of Halloween. Though that won’t help. Because the media can’t resist trend stories, and any three or more items with a common link can constitute a trend, the confluence of the AMC series Freakshow; the new season of American Horror Story,…

Commentary: What Color Is Peter Pan?

  • January 21st, 2014

The issue, to me, is not whether Peter Pan is played by a man or a woman. The issue is whether Peter Pan has to be white. Perhaps I should back up. On Sunday afternoon, via tweets (and later articles) resulting from the semi-annual Television Critics Association press conferences in Los Angeles, NBC announced that the…

Commentary: What’s Your Next Move, Lorne Michaels?

  • November 4th, 2013

As the first step in a long-overdue effort to address an ongoing deficiency in its casting practices, the opening sketch of this week’s Saturday Night Live wasn’t bad. In the wake of ongoing questions about its decades-long lack of black female cast members (only four in almost 40 years), the show had gone seriously wrong…