By Barb Van Atta
Even the most empathetic person cannot truly know how the recipient of prejudicial remarks feels. And sometimes efforts at understanding, no matter how well-meaning, come off as insensitive.
That point was hammered home to us at Broome Arts Mirror yesterday (May 17) through responses to our review of SRO Underground’s production of Avenue Q. Here on the blog — and in emails and on Facebook — cast members and their supporters took reviewer George Basler to task for opining that the production lacked diversity.
In an earlier version of the review, now no longer available at BAMirror, Basler expressed hope for more diversity but failed to acknowledge the cast members who ARE ethnically and racially diverse. In particular, he glossed over the involvement of Amoreena Wade, who is bi-racial, and it is a slight that he regrets.
“I have reviewed Amoreena Wade a number of times and seen her give many fine performances. I have always admired her as an actor and as a person,” Basler said last night. “If my comment in the Avenue Q review was wrongheaded or hurtful, I truly apologize.”
As Basler’s editor, I, too, apologize for not modifying his remarks when first publishing the review.
NOTE: I have approved the publication of SOME of the responses to the original review, enough to give a sampling of the writers’ opinions. I did not, however, approve the comments that included personal or hateful characterizations that would, I believe, defeat the purpose of chastising someone for a “lack of sensitivity.”