Andrew Lloyd Webber, award-winning composer for theater productions such as Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Jesus Christ Superstar has come out in recent days supporting the growth of BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) individuals in onstage productions. According to the Independent, Lloyd Webber confessed he was alarmed by a recent report  stating, “white middle classes still dominate audiences” and that "even in London, where the BAME population is now 44%, audiences outside specialist theatres and theatre groups remain overwhelmingly white.”

Lloyd Webber continues, explaining “if the situation continues, there is real danger that, not only will black and Asian young people stay away from the theatre as a profession, they will stay away as punters. And without them in the audience, theatres will become unsustainable, as they are forced to compete for a dwindling ageing, white, middle-class audience.”  

In response, Lloyd Webber is “encouraging "a more culturally diverse workforce” with “colour blind” casting and more plays by BAME writers,“ while urging "drama schools to make 50% of their places accessible to students from low-income backgrounds and for funding bodies such as the Arts Council England to offer resources to aid BAME individuals in theatre.”

Anthony Lloyd Weber supports diversity….and everyone hates him for it.

In the comment section of the article reviewers bash his recent statements.

Philly states “Yeah, and you hideous pompous piece of s h i t, with all your millions, should thank white people for making you rich. B l a c k people certainly didn’t.”  Goatsoup adds “The 100m sprint final should include at least 2 white people imho….. even though they will come last…. but that’s diversity.” and Charles Ewing wrote that “The cast of Hamilton is hideously black.  Or am I not allowed to say that, although it is fine for Andrew Lloyd Webber to say that British theatre is "hideously white”?“

While I won’t address the ignorance of these comments (in particular the 100m sprint comment which is probably one of the worse diversity comparisons I’ve ever read), the bigger issue is a lack of understanding of diversity.  Lloyd Weber is simply looking to grant opportunities to those who have not had them.  Increasing the talent pool to everyone is not discrimination, but competition.  As diversity continues to grow, it is becoming more and more clear that some people fear the addition of competition.  In the past when competing for positions, a small portion of the population was "allowed” to compete.  Now with more individuals added to the “field” many people are crying foul and arguing that only “qualified” people should be allowed to participate.  But how do we know who is the most qualified unless we grant more individuals more opportunities?

Diversity is opening the field, and if you cannot handle the competition, it’s because you’re not good enough.



(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Leave a Reply