A new revival of the classic West Side Story was announced recently — and of course, it had to be created with a “woke” twist.
Despite the recent flops of major films and shows catering to the far-left woke crowd obsessed with “diversity” above all other things, producers thought that a reworked, more progressive West Side Story was something we all needed. Those same producers are under fire today, though, thanks to their not-so-woke casting choice.
The new show opened on Broadway last week, and some fans were less than pleased. The problem was not the show itself, but a member of the cast. Over 100 demonstrators showed up at the play’s opening, demanding the removal of Amar Ramasar, who had been cast in the play.
Ramasar is controversial because he was fired last year by the New York City Ballet for sharing nude photos of women without consent, and for sending sexually harassing and explicit texts. That news did not stop the newly woke version of West Side Story from hiring Ramasar, and outraged theater goers showed up on opening night to protest.
Chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Amar Ramasar has got to go!” , the crowd stood outside the theater and shouted to those arriving to see the show. Protests on Broadway are rare – but they do happen. In some cases, protestors are upset by the content of a performance – in this case, it was one of the key performers themselves who triggered the outrage.
The heart of the issue lies with a student of the City Ballet (the School of American Ballet), who accused Ramasar of taking nude photos of her without consent or knowledge, then sharing those images with others. Ramasar has since been cast in a major role in the West Side Story reboot, as Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks gang.
Producers refused to take action, stating the behaviors he is accused of took place under another employer, and that Ramasar “has been both fully adjudicated and definitively concluded according to the specific rules of that workplace.”
“There is zero consideration being given to his potentially being terminated from this workplace, as there has been no transgression of any kind, ever, in this workplace,” the producer’s statement read.
This did not sit well with protestors and activists, who demanded his immediate dismissal. The Actor’s Equity Association also refused to take action, despite prompting by protestors and activists.
“Everyone at ‘West Side Story’ should be able to go to work and perform feeling safe and protected in their workplace,” the organization said in a statement. “Equity has been in communication with the general manager and the members of the show. As a union, Equity’s role is to ensure that our members are protected in the workplace and we take that responsibility very seriously. Equity will continue to hold all employers to their legal obligation to maintain a safe and harassment-free environment.”
Despite those strong words, no action was taken against the production or the actor, and the show went on as intended — with protestors outside, hoping to be heard. The play was already floundering — removing traditional sets, making the gangs that were opposed to one another virtually indistinguishable, and replacing famous and robust dance sequences with “posturing” meant that the “woke” production was in trouble from the start.