View this post on Instagram
In less than 24hrs: 300,000 views across social media platforms and thousands of shares, Black Broadway artists are DEMANDING TO BE HEARD! This is not a social media frenzy. This is a movement to tear down systemic racism that has dominated our industry. Action is needed!! TAG, TWEET, SHARE YOUR STORY TO ANY AND EVERY ARTS PUBLICATION. #BroadwayisRacist #burnitdown
Actor, writer, and producer Griffin Matthews is over it. All of it. And by “all of it” we mean the racism he deals with on a regular basis from people in the New York theater community.
The Dear White People actor posted a video this week in which he says watching Amy Cooper tell a Black man named Christian Cooper that she was going to call the police on him for no reason “triggered” him.
So he’s speaking out.
“Racism has been stealing our dreams, choking our stories, looting our talent and then discarding us when we are no longer valued,” Matthews says in the powerful seven-minute video.
He goes on to call out all the directors, choreographers, agents, stage managers, casting directors, publicists, and reviewers in the New York theater community who are “pretending to be allies” while doing absolutely nothing to fix the problem behind-the-scenes.
Matthews then shares several experience he’s had over the years, including being forced to make major changes to an off-Broadway show he wrote to appease white producers, hearing a director say an actress wasn’t “Black enough” for a part, and sitting in a production meeting listening to a white producer boasted about how “slavery is over, no one wants to hear about that.”
“That is why Broadway is racist,” Matthews declares.
He concludes the video by saying, “I may never make it to Broadway for simply speaking out against the horrific treatment I received, but all the Amy Coopers will be fine.”
Dear Amy Cooper: Broadway is racist. (7 minutes of a secret I’ve held. Until today.)
Posted by Griffin Matthews on Monday, June 1, 2020
Matthews shared the video on all of his social media channels where it quickly went viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views, likes, and shares.
Check out how people in the New York theater community have been responding…
thank you for your bravery and exquisite articulation of how you feel and your personal experiences Griffin. Without this video, perhaps only us brown and black artists would know what it’s like to hear these almost ‘causal’ instances of racism in our work. It is a shame.
— Sean Mana (@wayofthesean) June 2, 2020
I may have waited 37 years to hear just this. Very well put.
— Cornelius White (@Corneliuswhite) June 2, 2020
— Ryan J. Haddad (@RyanJHaddad) June 2, 2020
Thank you, Griffin, for your voice, art, and bravery to call us out. This is necessary.
— Allie Glickman (@allie_glick) June 1, 2020
Holy hell. Well if you want you’re art to soar, I’ll be here to play. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 fuck Amy Cooper and all the like.
— Jon Rua (@JonRua) June 2, 2020
Related: I’m black and I’m proud