Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more difficult to be on Woody Allen‘s side, it did. In addition to everything else he’s been accused of, there are new allegations of racism floating around as well. Charming.
Just to be clear, I feel weird referring to the allegations of sexual abuse against Woody by Dylan Farrow as ‘everything else’, but my point is that it’s hard to keep track of all the myriad issues people are having with him right now.You might think it’d be a good time to take a breather and stay under the radar for a minute, but instead Woody chose to cast a traditionally diverse Broadway show with nearly all-Caucasian actors. Sigh.
The show is ‘Bullets Over Broadway’, an adaptation of his 1994 screen play, and it all centers around a place called ‘The Cotton Club’, which was a hot spot in 1920s Harlem, an area with a high concentration of African-Americans. None of whom you’ll see represented in the cast — except for one single solitary person in the chorus — even though casting agents allegedly told Woody that the absence of people of color would be glaring, especially in scenes recreating the club. According to a source at the Daily News:
‘…a big-name African-American actor was being considered but Woody pulled out, deciding for some reason that ‘a black gangster wouldn’t be good,’ despite the play being set in Harlem.’
A spokesperson for Woody denies the story and insisted that race had never been a factor, saying:
‘Your item is completely untrue. It has always been Woody Allen’s priority to cast the exact appropriate person for a role regardless of race, which has never been a consideration.’
Interestingly enough, another Broadway musical about the Cotton Club opened in November and features a largely black cast, with k.d. lang being the only non-minority.
So if another show touching on literally the exact same topic was able to manage it, it probably isn’t that hard, right?
(Photo: Joseph Marzullo / WENN.com)