So Lantern Theater in Philadelphia has apparently screwed up royally with a racist “Japanese-inspired” Julius Caesar. Makoto Hirano, member of the Team Sunshine Collective and “actual Japanese person,” has penned a great response that should really be rules for keeping any of your shows from being racist.
Lantern Theater has issued this non-apology:
“One of the major goals of Lantern Theater Company has always been to foster dialogue and discussion among our audience. We have a long history of hiring actors of all backgrounds for Shakespeare roles, but our production of Julius Caesar has offended some people, and we want to better understand their concerns. I have reached out personally to Makoto as well as other members of the local theater and Asian American communities and am interested in hearing all points of view. I welcome the opportunity to further discuss diversity and cultural representation in the theater with anyone who has an interest in an open and direct exchange.”
Lantern, guys, you didn’t create a dialogue, you straight-up didn’t have one with ANYONE who could have helped you not make these mistakes, and that’s how you got into this mess.