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‘The Boys within the Band’ Writer-Producer ‘Vehemently Objects’

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I can take a nasty evaluation, and I used to dish them out for a residing. And the late, nice Mart Crowley warned me all there’d be days like this and diatribes like that of Alonso Duralde, as there’ve been within the 52 years since his play, “The Boys in the Band,” first provoked audiences. My colleagues and I selected to revive it, first on Broadway and now on Netflix, and everyone knows: The present is about hostility, and hostility it evokes. That’s the gig.

I’m not simply offended, and I’m open to any criticism from anybody, however when Mr. Duralde accuses me of dangerous motives, I’ve to take a stand on behalf of Mart, the director Joe Mantello, and my fellow producers.

Mr. Duralde insists that the casting of Robin de Jesús, within the position of Emory, was an act of “cheating.” I insist on accuracy: Mart by no means declared which race this character is, was or wanted to be. As a producer, Mart additionally accredited of Robin’s hiring (and delighted in his efficiency), so I reject Mr. Duralde’s declare that we rolled previous any restriction once we made Emory a Latinx character. Literally: Where is it written?

Mr. Duralde declares that our motive is to “retroactively let white characters’ racism off the hook.” I do discover hate speech to be hate speech, regardless of who expresses it. I additionally know {that a} Latinx particular person diminishing a Black particular person, in public, is racist, then as now. I discover that Mr. Duralde didn’t point out that Jim Parsons, enjoying a white character (to be clear), stays “on the hook” in each body, however I don’t know his motive.

Let’s look at Mr. Duralde’s disinterest in diversifying our ensemble. How is his stance not harmful, in our cultural quest to see extra of America in our biggest texts, to incorporate extra views that allow us see ourselves in new methods? How would possibly different risk-takers really feel warned that such a casting is crossing a line, violating phrases, courting failure? How does Mr. Duralde advance progress when falsely and inaccurately ascribing dangerous motives to how we reimagined Emory, when it finally gave a Latinx actor his third Tony nomination?

Mart’s work has handed the check of time, and nobody works on it with out reshaping it or being reshaped by it. His is a creation whose limits are supposed to be examined, not a glass menagerie for homosexual aficionados. Our interpretation is open to sturdy criticism from any viewer on this new world, digital viewers. However, I object vehemently to Mr. Duralde’s assertion that we conspired to cheat, and I invite anybody to level to guidelines we didn’t observe.

Ned Martel is a former journalist and critic whose credit as a screenwriter and producer embody “Glee,” “American Horror Story” and “Hollywood.” He shared an Emmy Award for producing “Inside Look: The People v. O.J. Simpson – American Crime Story.” He additionally produced and co-wrote (with Mart Crowley) Netflix’s 2020 adaptation of Crowley’s play “The Boys in the Band.”

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