"The motives of the people who were going to produce this play Off-Broadway in New York are not adequately known and I think that they should be aired...But it highlights a larger phenomenon which is an international gangsterism towards the arts at this time. I consider the New York Times not publishing the cartoons about Mohammed to be an act of editorial cowardice and inappropriate--obviously it was major news--and this idea of it being 'sensitive' to religion, respectful to religion, not to air differences, not to air slurs, not to air slights, is just giving into intimidation of different kinds. Now the theatre in New York may not have been afraid that they were going to be killed, they may have been afraid they were going to lose funding from somebody, that I don't know. But I do know there is intimidation across this country in the arts, where plays like Grease are being vetoed by local organizations as being too racy and cartoons are being called unworthy of publication because the sensitivities of people of a certain religion trumps the need of people of every persuasion to know. And I think it has to be looked at. There's a certain degree of cowardice involved and I think people are going to have to get used to the idea that doing these things--like what happened to [documentary film maker Theo] Van Gogh in the Netherlands--may lead to them being killed."If you're interested in reading more about the My Name Is Rachel Corrie controversy, checkout Playgoer. He's done an amazing job covering this story and moving it forward.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
John Patrick Shanley Speaks Out
John Patrick Shanley's reaction to the NYTW's cancelation of My Name Is Rachel Corrie. From an interview on the Brian Lehrer show, WNYC, March 22. (Transcribed as excerpted on the March 24 broadcast.)