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SPEAK ON IT: Should These NY High School Parents Be ANGERED Over ALL-WHITE Casting of "The Wiz"

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One high school in New York is attempting to bring "The Wiz" to the stage in a way that differs drastically from the both the movie and Broadway versions of the play....starring an all-White cast! Find out how the outraged parents are responding inside and speak on it...

"The Wiz" a musical became a star-making vehicle for Stephanie Mills when it hit Broadway in the 70s and big career moves for Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in the movie version.  It's been re-made several times over off-Broadway, through traveling tours/companies and on school campuses around the country.  

And while we understand that musicals are supposed to re-made and reinvented...a few parents at Cicero-North Syracuse High School in Cicero, New York are a little peeved that an upcoming version of the play will star a predominately White cast. And before you go thinking that there weren't enough Black actors at the high school to go around, parents say that just isn't that case. In fact....the Black actors were passed over.

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It's actually been a full week of Blacks being passed over for Black roles as French fashion magazine Numéro reportedly may have passed over casting a Black model to celebrate African beauty and hired a white model for their "African Queen" spread! What's going on?!

Numéro apologized today saying they are sorry people are offended, and they believed in the artistic nature--which was in line with his previous images of "melting pots of cultre"--of the photgrapher, Sebastian Kim.

And after more backlash on the net, the photgrapher himself put out a statement saying, in part:

It was never my intention (nor Numero’s) to portray a black woman in this story. Our idea and concept for this fashion shoot was based on 60's characters of Talitha Getty, Verushka and Marissa Berenson with middle eastern and Moroccan fashion inspiration. We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her skin black.

Hmmm.

But back at the high school with "The Wiz" drama, there will be ONE Black actor in the play, Kierrah Titus, who was one of seven Blacks to audition, BUT she was relegated to the ensemble dance troupe.

Her mom, Letrice Titus, is speaking out asking a reporter at the Post-Standard. “Was there any outreach to the African-American students in the school? Why didn’t the school just do The Wizard of Oz?”  Preston Fagan, Cicero’s NAACP chapter president, sides with Letrice saying,  “To not let a black student have an acting role in this play is appalling. It’s almost an insult.”

Both Letrice and Preston spoke at a meeting with the North Syracuse Central School District Board of Education this week and voiced their concerns. For now, many African American parents and students plan to boycot the musical.  

Speak on it....should the community feel some kid of way...or does the school have every right to put on whatever productions they please, and cast whomever they please?

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Comments

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This is so sad. Why even

This is so sad. Why even choose to do the wiz if you aren't going to feature black actresses and actors. Was the wizard of oz too complicated? This is really sad and people should be ashamed.

This EXACT same thing

This EXACT same thing happened when I was in high school in 1996. It still confuses me.....
a503's picture

I would be upset, I mean

I would be upset, I mean isn't that the whole point of black people doing the WIZ, Why cant they just do the The Wizard of Oz!!!!!
kimaras31's picture

I don't have a problem with

I don't have a problem with it as long as they don't do BLACKFACE. Then we would have to march. Where you at Al Sharpton? The "Wiz" music is more soulful than the "Wizard of OZ". Not sure if they can pool it off successfully without us in the production.......alllllright
YaHeard's picture

Agree, as long as there is no

Agree, as long as there is no blackface they have full rights imo. We remade Steel Magnolias, the Wizard of Oz and others. It is art and there shouldnt be rules to evolving (as long as they aren't 'shucking and jiving'. They didn't exclude blacks, they just didn't get the lead roles. I see no problem w/it.
sista2sista's picture

I absolutely knew this was

I absolutely knew this was going to happen. When we aren't original and we have remakes such as 'Steel Magnolias' with an all-black cast this is bound to happen. I know the venues are different - school play and film yet we left the door WIDE opened for others to do just the same. I'm sure "The Color Purple", "Waiting to Exhale" and other staple black films will get remade and there will be an all-white cast. We can be angered but how valid is it!?!?

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karoladesrosiers63's picture

The reason why "The Wiz" play

The reason why "The Wiz" play is such a big deal is b/c IT WAS CREATED FOR BLACK ACTORS/ACTRESSES SPECIFICALLY!!! We weren't good enough for the wizard of oz, so we made our own. That's why NO ONE WITHOUT AFRICAN DNA SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO STAR IN IT!!! We make certain films/plays just for US b/c Hollywood STILL has a white-washed mentality and it's extremely difficult for a Black person to be cast in ANY white production. As far as that racist azz shoot, Imma do a French National spread with a Black model in White face.
PinkyDaGoddess's picture

Indeed!!

Indeed!!
Iridescent One's picture

America=one the most racist

America=one the most racist continents on the planet. Why would anyone be shocked that the blacks have been passed over. ...Saw some coverage of Rosa Parks given an official statue placed amongst many past high profile figures in america. A black man was asked in what can only be viewed as 'the projects', how he thinks Rosa would view America today, he said he thought she would be astounded by how far america had come. However there is still a pernicious racist view towards black america which makes it a given that they are discriminated against in american society.....
ava's picture

Okay WTF is going on in the

Okay WTF is going on in the modeling industry and that they now have to hire white models to portray us?? This is such a slap in the face - common people the only they get the drift is when we start using our economic power to have them sit up and take notice - alot of disrespect has been goin around lately on every level towards people of color....this is no different than blackface in high fashion.....
lifeisgood's picture

It is a high school

It is a high school production so it did not need to be an all black cast because it is not a remake for Broadway. We did a remake of the King and I and it was an all white and black cast because there were no Burmese children in our school.
mlwells's picture

Why didn’t the school just do

Why didn’t the school just do The Wizard of Oz?” -My thoughts exactly
HNICCHICK's picture

The Wiz is one of my

The Wiz is one of my favourite movies. I even own it. I wondered why they called this new movie the Wiz and not The Wizard of Oz. When the Wiz came out i understand that it was not very well received. We'll see how this one goes
caribbean_dream_girl's picture

Totally agree with Sunflower

Totally agree with Sunflower Jones
Amused's picture

Do they not apperceive check

Do they not apperceive check out this = http://free-hd-wallpaperz.blogspot.com/ the The Wizard of Oz had an all white cast? I don't accept the problem. They are just demography it aback to the original. I didn't apprehend of any white humans in an uproar about the all atramentous casting of Steel Magnolias. SMH.

shit sucks...i cant believe

shit sucks...i cant believe that bow wow and omarion rumor..i mean just google kelsnetwork
reane's picture

I honestly cannot see a

I honestly cannot see a Caucasian person playing Eveline and singing No Bad News or busting out spins like MJ and sining You Can't Win. I cannot see them acting like Mr. Fleetwood Coupe De' Ville singing Mean Ole Lion. I cannot see them hitting Nipsey Russell's smooth moves while singing Slide Some Oil To Me. Let alone sing any of those soulful songs. I just can't see it. Can you honestly see someone Caucasian playing Ms One or singing If You Believe sung by Lena Horne? I can't even see Caucasian's doing the Emerald City Sequence. There are certain qualities we have as African Americans that cannot be mimicked, explained, duplicated or taught. It's in our DNA. It comes from within.
Iridescent One's picture

Do they not know the The

Do they not know the The Wizard of Oz had an all white cast? I don't understand the problem. They are just taking it back to the original. I didn't hear of any white people in an uproar about the all black cast of Steel Magnolias. SMH.
PacificGirl's picture

You stated that, "They are

You stated that, "They are just taking it back to the original." Taking it back to the original would be to do THE WIZARD OF OZ! Lol. The original wasn't The Wiz, so I don't understand what you're saying. The only thing The Wiz took from the Wizard of Oz, was indeed the concept, however, it was an All African American cast, the music was all original (produced by Quincy Jones and Tom Bahler). The choreography was original. It was different. It was almost like looking at a different movie. It was soulful. We gave it LIFE. Using Steel Magnolias, was not a good comparison. Furthermore, that was one of a few things African American's took and redid. Please look back at history. Caucasian people have taken from African Americans how many times? The bad thing about it is, back then, African Amercians couldn't do anything about it. There were no choices given. No rights.
Iridescent One's picture

The Wiz? Really? People

The Wiz? Really? People really need to get over this black & white thing!! Im sick of it.
Realist's picture

Really? Are you sick of the

Really? Are you sick of the disrespect President Obama receives? Or do you think he should just get over it. You are a fool if you think the divide doesn't exist.
LBA1's picture

I'm more upset that they're

I'm more upset that they're performing "The Wiz!"
tori's picture

LMAO... that's some funny

LMAO... that's some funny shit!!!
RO's picture

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zzcv10's picture

Who gives a hoot? We can

Who gives a hoot? We can remake all white movies, but white people can't redo black movies? What would y'all do if VH1 ever decided to air "White Girls Rock"? Get over yourselves. They're kids putting on a production. I'm sure they were all chosen because they're capable of playing the part.
blynne23's picture

I agree, in part. I don't

I agree, in part. I don't have any problem with remaking the production and featuring white cast members. But for a high school drama class/club to decide to do an "all white" production, at a mixed race school with talented students of color being left out, well that's kind of ratchet don't you think? An all black production of something at the same school is in order.
The Real Thing's picture

" What would y'all do if VH1

" What would y'all do if VH1 ever decided to air "White Girls Rock"? PREACH!
PacificGirl's picture

High 5!

High 5!
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tom101's picture

I dont see the problem!! As

I dont see the problem!! As long as they do it right!!!
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Diana C. Hurley's picture

I don't understand the big

I don't understand the big deal...they remade Steel Magnolias with an all black cast and it was originally an all white movie

Exactly my sentiments when I

Exactly my sentiments when I first read this. We've been taking over their projects and making them all black as the ones you mentioned above (tired of that 'cause we need to make our own classics). And no one seems to be causing an uproar...although I've heard of some whites not appreciating their classics being tampered with, lol. But for the most part this seems to be the thing. I just look at it as broadening the appeal (of the movie/play/story) to a wider audience when the cast is changed to reflect a certain racial demographic. Obviously this white cast has an appreciation for the wiz and wanted to make it their own. People should look at it more as a compliment...IJS.
TrueT's picture

TrueT.... I get what you're

TrueT.... I get what you're saying, but there's a reason Steel Magnolias had an all white cast and blacks remade it in the first place. Go sit down in front of your television screen, go look at your magazine racks, go look at the theaters... How many black faces do you see in contrast to the white faces? How many BROWN faces (inclusive of all minorities) do you see in comparison to the white faces that you see when -- in America -- brown people are nearly the majority? In Brasil, how many BROWN top models are there in a country that is PREDOMINANTLY brown? Your logic makes sense if this were an equal world, but it is not. Those films are made BECAUSE there is little representation of black faces within the entertainment industry... within any kind of industry really. There have been an infinite amount of studies shown that place educated white men versus educated black men (same education mind you) and pit them up against employers in controlled settings -- that is, the only thing the employer has to go off of is a name and resume and if the name looked "black" the white guy got it nearly 7 times out of 10. That's 70%. More than half. You want to look at broadening the appeal? When's the last time that a black actor or actress (w/ the exception of Annie) has been made to play the part intended for a 'white' actor? How many black superheroes are there, hmmm? Remember Wanted with Angelina Jolie? That main char: black female. Hell, even in Hunger Games there was blatant backlash and controversy when the role of Rue was given to a black girl even though the char is black in the book. Put that in perspective.
imjussaying's picture

I am very aware of the

I am very aware of the disparity of our representation in all walks of life, so I understand why people are upset seeing this. But I'm looking at the perspective of, if we can remake their classics, as we have done so many times instead of making our own, then it leaves the door open for them to do the same. We can't say we can do it to their works then get upset when they do it to our works. That just doesn't make sense in this day and age. The other issues you brought up are very true and real, but it still doesn't make my point any less valid on THIS particular issue. I'm looking at it from the view point of , if we keep redoing their works-- ( I hate that we keep doing this), we leave the door open for them to do the reverse as well. It's a bit ridiculous to have carte blanch to reinterpret their classics but they can't touch ours. I understand we're not on equal footing by far, but for issues such as this (art), you have to have some form of reciprocation and openness if we are to continue to progress.
TrueT's picture

Exactly! Quvenzhane Wallis

Exactly! Quvenzhane Wallis was cast in the Annie remake. She's not white or a ginger. The role should go to the person with the best acting ability, period!
CLS1986's picture

A lot of us would like to

A lot of us would like to continue to ignore the existence of white supremacy but the need to white wash everything of color is an obvious example. The could have just done the Wizard of Oz
Mouse's picture

Seems like an oxymoron

Seems like an oxymoron almost. I mean, the whole point of "The Wiz" being in existence in the first place was because the original "Wizard of Oz" had no black cast members. Seems weird that they wouldn't cast any black actors.
HotLikeSunshine's picture

I agree. This whole thing is

I agree. This whole thing is weird to begin with.
TrueT's picture

I don't allow the "white man"

I don't allow the "white man" to affect me. Education and the ability to work with others = 100% Success & FREEDOM (see: Barack & Michelle Obama) NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!!
PegLeg®©'s picture

That's a bunch of "We are the

That's a bunch of "We are the World" nonsense. The white man will affect you because he's the one in power. Until blacks own stuff, and until we get our heads out his proverbial arse, you will be, whether you like it or know it, be begging for his scraps. Education is great, but there are many educated people who cannot find jobs. Instead of trying to build our own shit, we are always looking to the white man. Barack and Michelle ain't got nothing to do with most of us who are dealing with the highest unemployment rate of all.
Sunflower Jones's picture

RIGHT ON!!!!! Well stated!

RIGHT ON!!!!! Well stated!
LBA1's picture

Feel better now? Get it all

Feel better now? Get it all out.....I'll listen.
PegLeg®©'s picture

High 5! And how do we know

High 5! And how do we know the black students were over looked? Maybe the white students chosen for this production, had the best acting abilities. I don't want someone to give me something just because I'm black. I want to earn it!
CLS1986's picture

You're On Fire

You're On Fire Tonight....Tell 'Em!
PegLeg®©'s picture

Agreeing with Sunflower

Agreeing with Sunflower Jones. I understand "logically" how this should work -- art should be color blind. But the fact that blacks are systematically shut out of work for the reason that they are black makes taking The Wiz, which was created FOR black actors/actresses specifically is disrespectful. Yes, I agree. Just do The Wizard of Oz if you aren't going to cast any blacks. As for that magazine, I get that there are Africans who are white, however, putting dark make up on a white model for 'African pride' is not artistic, that's called blackface. And that photographer and the magazine are ignorant. Sadly, this is not an uncommon thing within the fashion industry which likewise places blockades for black models. Milan Fashion Week gets whiter and whiter each year with very little diversity. And black models, especially males, are consistently told that they should consider nose jobs :|
imjussaying's picture

My heart always gets full of

My heart always gets full of pride when people get exactly what's going on. Many, especially this generation, is really clueless. They been raised in a society that has brainwashed them, and they have no desire for truth. Thank you, imjussaying.
Sunflower Jones's picture

I get what you're saying with

I get what you're saying with the enigma/clusterfuck of this white cast doing the WIZ. But I guess the issue is, with us continuously making all black version of white's work (the wiz, cinderella, steel magnolias, annie, ect.), people will deem it fair game to do the same with our works; especially in this post world that we are one and we are all equal, even though (as the previous poster states) that is clearly not the case. I just look at this particular case as one we shouldn't get all ruffled up about, 'cause essentially imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
TrueT's picture

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