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Post Reply Is The Mikado Racist and Should be Banned?
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Posted 9/20/15
Seems a production of it was pulled in all places NYC, for fear of causing offense.

‘Mikado’ Production Canceled Over Racial Concerns
By MICHAEL COOPER SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 11:16 AM September 18, 2015 11:16 am 11 Comments


A production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” planned for New York this December was canceled after it drew criticism over how its largely non-Asian cast planned to portray the stereotyped Japanese characters and culture that are often seen as central to the work, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players announced on their website.

The troupe “never intended to give offense and the company regrets the missed opportunity to responsively adapt” the show this December, the troupe’s executive director, David Wannen, wrote in a statement on the website. The company plans to mount another popular Gilbert and Sullivan work, “The Pirates of Penzance,” in its place for six performances at the Skirball Center at New York University from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2.

The decision was announced as many arts organizations are rethinking how they stage classic works that portray different races and cultures onstage in ways that are now seen as racist or offensive, in an effort to keep the jarring aspects from getting in the way of what makes those works great. When the Metropolitan Opera opens its season next week with a new production of Verdi’s “Otello,” it will break a long performance tradition by not using dark makeup on its tenor, a practice that has uncomfortable echoes of minstrelsy and blackface.

“The Mikado” poses special problems: it has some of the most beautiful music and wittiest lyrics of any Gilbert and Sullivan work, but its use of a fictional Japanese setting to satirize British culture presents staging challenges if it is not to come off as a jumble of ugly caricatures and stereotypes. A production last year in Seattle was criticized as “yellowface” by a columnist in The Seattle Times, setting off a wide-ranging discussion of the work.

After promotional materials for the planned New York production that appeared to show a mostly white cast in yellowface began to draw criticism, the company announced earlier this week that it would abolish such makeup for the revival. But a few days later they announced plans to scrap the production altogether.

“We will now look to the future, focusing on how we can affect a production that is imaginative, smart, loyal to Gilbert and Sullivan’s beautiful words, music, and story, and that eliminates elements of performance practice that are offensive,’’ Mr. Wannen wrote online.

“Thanks to all for the constructive criticism,’’ he went on. “We sincerely hope that the living legacy of Gilbert & Sullivan remains a source of joy for many generations to come.”


http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/mikado-production-canceled-over-racial-concerns/?emc=eta1&_r=1


So what do you all think?
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Posted 9/20/15 , edited 9/21/15
Who was complaining about this?

Tumblr activists?

SJW's?

"Feminists"?

Or actually serious people with brains who do (usually) not belong to the three factions mentioned above??

Sigh..

Tough, I have to say, despite me assuming it's the typical BS we have seen a lot lately, I haven't looked into it, so there is a chance they actually have good arguments against the play...

But even then... if it's really bad, sure change it, but in general I really don't care about other people's opinion on works *I* like. I mean, I like harem anime where girls have big tits and ass and they get shown off a lot, some people don't like that, why should I care? I enjoy what I enjoy, no way in hell I am changing that because someone else does not like the titties... she (or he) can just go watch another anime!

So if this is a really popular work and lots of people wanted to go see it, I think the same thing applies here: live and let life. Again, unless it' *REAL* bad, I don't know. Then you can change it a bit to update it to modern times... but don't be too easy with caving in to what are basically demands for censorship...
Posted 9/20/15
Off-off-off-off-off Broadway stuff...Yick.
zalbik 
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Posted 9/20/15 , edited 9/20/15
At this point you could put them in blueface and change the title to "The Smurfs Mikado" and I am sure some group would be offended. It's the new America and it's very sad.
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Posted 9/20/15 , edited 9/22/15

eragon2890 wrote:

Who was complaining about this?

Tumblr activists?

SJW's?

"Feminists"?

Or actually serious people with brains who do (usually) not belong to the three factions mentioned above??

Sigh..

Tough, I have to say, despite me assuming it's the typical BS we have seen a lot lately, I haven't looked into it, so there is a chance they actually have good arguments against the play...

But even then... if it's really bad, sure change it, but in general I really don't care about other people's opinion on works *I* like. I mean, I like harem anime where girls have big tits and ass and they get shown off a lot, some people don't like that, why should I care? I enjoy what I enjoy, no way in hell I am changing that because someone else does not like the titties... she (or he) can just go watch another anime!

So if this is a really popular work and lots of people wanted to go see it, I think the same thing applies here: live and let life. Again, unless it' *REAL* bad, I don't know. Then you can change it a bit to update it to modern times... but don't be too easy with caving in to what are basically demands for censorship...


Why do people always fall back on the 'SJW' thing? People aren't allowed to have an opposing opinion from you without being labeled something? Are people like you really that simple minded?


zalbik wrote:

At this point you could put them in blueface and change the title to "The Smurfs Mikado" and I am sure some group would be offended. It's the new America and it's very sad.


Do you miss the good old days where people could be openly racist, and not be ashamed? Where people could act like stereotypical Asains, dress up in black-face, or march down the streets in white sheets, and be considered heroes, instead of racists jackasses? Sorry the world isn't as close-minded as it used to be.



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Posted 9/20/15 , edited 9/20/15
Could we start the new Internet acronym of OGL, or something similar, that would make "Oh good lord... " so easier to type?

Gilbert wasn't writing about real Japanese--He was satirizing stuffy buffoonish Victorian English people by putting them into the craze for Japanese pottery/artwork at the time. (As seen on vase and jar, and many-a, many-a, many a screen and fan.)
Those who haven't seen Jim Broadbent in the movie "Topsy Turvy", kindly do so before responding.

Jonathan Miller put it in the Edwardian English seaside, and opera-restaging director Peter Sellars put it in a wildly overdesigned 80's Shibuya district, with no harm to the material...One gets the impression it's meant to be fictional.

Of course, it also helps that there are higher Asian populations in Seattle where the complaints originated, and more people to be knee-jerk paranoid about cultural straw-man symbols.
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Posted 9/20/15

SurvivingHorror wrote:

Why do people always fall back on the racist/stereotype thing? People aren't allowed to have an opposing opinion from you without being labeled something? Are people like you really that simple minded?


Really now, this is ridiculous. There's no need to insult anybody's intelligence. You can disagree calmly.
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Posted 9/20/15 , edited 9/22/15
In a play, the most importaint thing is the race of the cast, uhu. Get off my planet, who ever complained about that.
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Posted 9/20/15
This is like that Emma stone incident.

She isn't Asian btw
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Posted 9/20/15
Yep, I definitely think it's racist. Being a minority and being the target of ignorant people's stereotypes of my culture, I can definitely see why Asian people would be offended. In situations like this, I don't think that anyone who isn't the particular race being victimized has a right to say how that particular race should feel.
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Posted 9/20/15


Have we really come all the way around to this again already?
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Posted 9/20/15
I don't know enough about Mikado to know if it's problematic.
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Posted 9/20/15

SurvivingHorror wrote:

People aren't allowed to have an opposing opinion from you without being labeled something? Are people like you really that simple minded?



Complains about someone labeling others for having an opposing opinion by labeling others with an opposing opinion...lol
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Posted 9/20/15

SurvivingHorror wrote:


eragon2890 wrote:

Who was complaining about this?

Tumblr activists?

SJW's?

"Feminists"?

Or actually serious people with brains who do (usually) not belong to the three factions mentioned above??

Sigh..

Tough, I have to say, despite me assuming it's the typical BS we have seen a lot lately, I haven't looked into it, so there is a chance they actually have good arguments against the play...

But even then... if it's really bad, sure change it, but in general I really don't care about other people's opinion on works *I* like. I mean, I like harem anime where girls have big tits and ass and they get shown off a lot, some people don't like that, why should I care? I enjoy what I enjoy, no way in hell I am changing that because someone else does not like the titties... she (or he) can just go watch another anime!

So if this is a really popular work and lots of people wanted to go see it, I think the same thing applies here: live and let life. Again, unless it' *REAL* bad, I don't know. Then you can change it a bit to update it to modern times... but don't be too easy with caving in to what are basically demands for censorship...


Why do people always fall back on the 'SJW' thing? People aren't allowed to have an opposing opinion from you without being labeled something? Are people like you really that simple minded?


zalbik wrote:

At this point you could put them in blueface and change the title to "The Smurfs Mikado" and I am sure some group would be offended. It's the new America and it's very sad.


Do you miss the good old days where people could be openly racist, and not be ashamed? Where people could act like stereotypical Asains, dress up in black-face, or march down the streets in white sheets, and be considered heroes, instead of racists jackasses? Sorry the world isn't as close-minded as it used to be.



First, let me preface I know nothing about "The Mikado" or whether it was in fact racist. Maybe it's not the best idea, to have "white" actors playing as Japanese. Then again, we had Sean Connery (Scottish) play James Bond (British) and Chinese actors playing Japanese characters.
1) "SJW" is what kiddies these days use to refer to heavily politically correct individuals.
2) He didn't seem very simple minded to me. He was asking questions and admitting the play might be bad, but that he didn't know.
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Posted 9/20/15 , edited 9/20/15

Nobodyofimportance wrote:


SurvivingHorror wrote:

Why do people always fall back on the racist/stereotype thing? People aren't allowed to have an opposing opinion from you without being labeled something? Are people like you really that simple minded?


Really now, this is ridiculous. There's no need to insult anybody's intelligence. You can disagree calmly.


I wasn't insulting anyone, I was asking a question.
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