Well, isn’t this interesting.
According to an EURweb report, a high school in Syracuse, NY will be performing their version of The Wiz but the problem is all the lead characters are…white.
Parents spoke to the NBC and CBS affiliates in upstate New York and they are outraged that the musical will not be more diverse, mixing all races that embody the school.
One parent, Letice Titus, whose daughter was cast in an ensemble role rather than a lead, says that the school should recast the play or acknowledge the elephant in the room:
“They have black talented kids at the school, but they chose to put them at the ensemble because they’re not theater kids. They should have made a collaborative effort based on diversity, cultural awareness, [and] sensitivity. How are the black kids going to feel when they see a play?”
As just about everyone knows, The Wiz, which starred Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in the movie and Stephanie Mills in the actual Broadway musical, was created as a more “soulful” version of the original The Wizard of Oz. Many have argued that it is the “better” version.
North Central Syracuse superintendent Kim Dyce Faucette says that while she can relate as an African-American woman, she is not willing to pull the card on the play just yet. Instead, she is going to do some further investigation and then she will make a more informed decision.
Hopefully, the school will come to their senses before the superintendent makes up her mind and diversifies the lead characters.