The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players (NYGASP) were going to perform The Mikado in December. But, according to WQXR, because of complaints of “perpetrating Japanese caricatures,” and because of not including actual Asian performers, the group has canceled their performances of The Mikado, and will instead perform The Pirates of Penzance.
C’mon, you ultra-sensitive nudniks out there; it’s only a show, it’s only a comic opera, a dramatization, for crying out loud. As Joan Rivers would say, Grow up!
In their announcement of this most recent caving to the extremists of the political correctness industry, NYGASP writes that they “never intended to give offense and the company regrets the missed opportunity to adapt its production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s 130-year-old satire of Victorian society to respond to contemporary criticism of some elements of traditional performance practice.”
Talk about nuts. You see, these are performances with actors. The actors don’t have to be of the same ethnic origin as their characters, as long as the actors are talented in portraying the characters they are supposed to portray. And also, some artistic works do “perpetrate ethnic caricatures” in one way or another. It’s only a play, or comedy. And Mikado is from 1885.
I can’t believe that so many people are so offended by this that they would write a letter or call this group to complain. There are so many thin-skinned people in America now, and in Europe as well, as we can see from the Europeans’ own idiotic “hate crimes” laws now. What a bunch of morons. (Ooops, I hope they don’t sue me for “hate.”)
And it’s one thing for NYGASP to apologize for possibly offending someone (or presenting a show which someone perceived to be “offensive”), but it’s another thing to actually cancel the whole thing.
Even the Metropolitan Opera went on with the show, with their performances of The Death of Klinghoffer (which one could argue has much more potential to elicit hurt or offense than The Mikado). The Met went on with the show despite complaints, the massive letter-writing campaign, the push for censorship, the push to have that production closed down, and the protesters with signs outside the opera house. (And those protesters and calls for censorship tend to be from the conservative side of things. After they constantly criticize college campuses for intolerant speech codes, and criticize the whole political correctness industry, the conservatives — and “liberals,” too — then go on to try to suppress any criticism or negative portrayal of Israel as possible. Hypocrites. But I digress.)
So the Met courageously goes on with the show, but New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players cave to the thought police and they self-censor. That’s life in the 21st Century, the Era of Ultra-Thin-Skinnedness.
This commentary originally appeared at Scott’s blog.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.