Rantz: Seattle Progressives slam ‘problematic’ performance of ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’
The Seattle Times and humorless Seattle activists believe the new 5th Avenue Theater production of “Mrs. Doubtfire” is “problematic” because a male character plays a woman. Some want it cancelled. It’s the latest Progressive woke brigade feigning outrage so they can tell you how inclusive they are and how evil you are.
The play is based on the hit Robin Williams movie about a divorced dad, named Daniel Hillard, who dresses as an elderly Scottish nanny in order to spend more time with his three children. It’s a classic comedy.
Though no Seattle Times writer is brave enough to put their name to the initial hot take, the piece declares the play is “problematic” in the headline. They take the position that “a man in a dress doesn’t cut it as a punch line in 2019 — not without serious and necessary conversations.” With that in mind, they connected with “five theater artists — some transgender, some queer” to get their takes before and after they saw the play.
As you can imagine, since the Times selected these community members to express how virtuous the paper is for even broaching the subject, the results of their stunt are mostly what you think. Indeed, Danielle Mohlman, the journalist who interviewed the community members, retweeted a message: “hire trans people to work on your musical or, I dunno, maybe stop producing redemption stories about straight white men.” Those evil straight white men!
After seeing the play, trans composer Jasmine Joshua said the famous scene of Hillard being transformed into Doubtfire was “unconscionable.” Intersex multidisciplinary artist Seranine Elliot complained the play “was like the It’s a Small World ride through all the tropes that make our culture [expletive].” Sam I’Am, a nonbinary actor and drag king, was the most dramatic (and absurd) blaming trans deaths on jokes in the play: “It’s uncomfortable to be in a room with 2,000 people laughing at things that perpetuate a stereotype that murders people in our community.” (If you’re in a room of 2,000 laughing people and you’re the one uncomfortable, it’s more likely a you-problem than a them-problem.)
There’s some irony in the criticisms since the story isn’t about a transgender character. It’s a comedy about someone in an absurd position. And it’s a good faith one at that. But to the professionally aggrieved, it’s a nefarious attempt at belittling their very existence! And it must be stopped.
These reactions are not reasonable; they’re opinions driven by a lazy social justice lens these insufferable activists see the world through. But in Seattle, we’re not supposed to say this! We’re supposed to pretend that because of their experiences, their hypersensitivity to art is somehow truth that must be taken seriously. We’re supposed to simply accept the notion that laughing at “Mrs. Doubtfire” is somehow leading to trans deaths. No need for any proof (it doesn’t exist) behind that absurd implication. A progressive activist said it and we must believe it. “Nay, we must fight on their behalf,” says the cis-gendered white Seattle Progressive declaring how accepting they are so they can brag about it on their Twitter feed.
None of the people surveyed are impacted by the play. Not a single one. Not even a little. No one left the theater thinking to themselves they’ll go commit a hate crime against a transgender person. Nor did anyone leave the theater less or more accepting of trans rights than they did going in. Seattle isn’t less safe because of the production. The theater is no less a “safe space” for these Seattleites to explore musicals. Most times, a play is just that: a play.
But it’s this very victim-culture that the Times promotes that is getting out of hand and will lead to censorship.
The story in the Times was prompted by a delusional change.org petition calling for 5th Avenue to cancel the play’s production. Is that where we’re at? They didn’t win this battle, but with the help of the Times maybe they will be successful at getting 5th Avenue Theater or any other business to second guess what should be their artistic (and business) freedom to put on the show they think is worthwhile.
At the same time, transgender activists with the fringe Gender Justice League is pressuring the Seattle Public Library to illegally cancel an event by a feminist group they disagree with (the group’s message is, essentially, “men are men and women are women”). And the library is actually consulting with the city’s legal department on steps they could take. Maybe next they’ll start banning books — or, heck, burn them if they promote messages or discussions that activists dislike.
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