You’ve heard of theatre of the absurd? Well, here’s some more: the Daily Wire reported Friday that “a Minnesota suburban theater canceled its production of ‘Cinderella,’ citing that the cast had too many white actors.” Whiteness is the root of all evil these days, and Minnesota, what with its winsome Rep. Ilhan Omar, is a national epicenter of white shame, but this is over the top even for the Hating Whitey industry.
According to the Daily Wire, “Chanhassen Dinner Theatres announced on its website that the production of ‘Cinderella’ was not aligned with its current diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Instead of recasting the production to include more people of color, the theater opted to nix the production entirely.”
Now wait a minute. “Hamilton” was just a huge hit on Broadway with a predominantly non-white cast, and the intelligentsia was thrilled. So why not win a few Social Credit points by casting a few “people of color” in key roles in “Cinderella,” rather than filling up the cast with colorless oppressors?
The problem with doing that may have lain with “Cinderella” itself. After all, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres couldn’t very well cast black actresses in the roles of the wicked stepsisters; that would reinforce some racist trope or other. And even Cinderella herself couldn’t be a black actress, for then the Prince would be her “white savior.” Can’t have that. How about making the Prince a “person of color” as well? That would still leave Cinderella as a servant before she is magically raised out of poverty, and if Gone with the Wind is not acceptable today, then that wouldn’t be, either.
What if the Prince were a person of color but Cinderella were white? No, that would be the hand of kindness extended to the oppressor who is rightly and justly humiliated after enriching herself for centuries on the backs of oppressed people of other races. It would also depict an interracial love affair, which, if you haven’t been keeping up, is now racist among the woke crowd, warming the cold hearts of Democrats such as Orval Faubus, Bull Connor, and other segregationists down through American history.
And thus the plug had to be pulled. “After careful consideration and with our ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has made the decision to cancel our upcoming production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” the theater said in a statement. “Our hope in beginning the production process again with a new title will allow us to put into practice an intentional process based on the work we have been doing towards equity and inclusivity.”
The theater announced that it was offering a paid position to a person of color who would help them make their productions “anti-racist.” The theater statement added: “We believe this new process will allow us to tell the story in a rich way and allow us to live out our commitment to identity-conscious casting and becoming a more intentionally anti-racist theater.”
However brilliant and talented the new hire may be, that will prove to be impossible. There is no production of “Cinderella” or anything else today that is not vulnerable to cancellation by the woke fascists, because their criteria for what is acceptably non-racist are fluid, malleable, shifting, and opportunistic. If they decide to target and destroy you, they will target and destroy you. If they have to misrepresent your intentions and twist your words to do so, they will. If they have to put a negative and indeed sinister spin on actions that were completely innocuous, like the casting of a musical set in Europe with people of European descent, they will.
This is by now a tried and tested tactic on the left. It was first employed in the highly successful effort to stigmatize, demonize, and render toxic anyone who dared to oppose jihad violence and Sharia oppression. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s smearing of these people as “hate group leaders,” and their highly tendentious dossiers on them, made up of statements ripped from their context and willfully misrepresented, established a paradigm for the left that is summed up by the famous Miranda Rights statement: Anything you say can and will be used against you.
The management of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has shown its awareness of this tactic by preemptively canceling their production before it could be accused of being “racist.” But no matter. Whatever show is being put on in the theater down the road will be branded as “racist” next, if the woke fascists choose it for a target, and however absurd the charge may be, they’ll make it stick.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.