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Broadway’s woke ‘trigger warnings’ and ‘moral preening’ ripped in Washington Post opinion piece

An opinion piece in The Washington Post ripped Broadway for “coddling theatergoers” with excessive “trigger warnings” that they argued were more about virtue signaling than anything else.

Richard Zoglin’s article, headlined, “Give my disregards to Broadway’s over-the-top theater ‘trigger warnings,’” mocked Broadway making theaters “safe spaces” for politically-like-minded audiences.

Describing a slew of trigger warnings he deemed “a little alarmist” before a recent play Zoglin attended, he asked, “Just how much coddling do theatergoers need these days?” 

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The former theater critic for Time magazine noted there had long been content warnings in playbills but “the new advisories go well beyond that.” 

He saw political motivation behind the increased use of trigger warnings: “They seem less about protecting potentially distressed theatergoers than italicizing the show’s revisionist, diversity-minded, politically evolved messages.”

As an example, Zoglin described a new production of “1776” which employs “female, nonbinary and transgender actors” to portray the country’s Founding Fathers. He called this a “blunt-force gimmick” intended to call attention to the lack of diversity among the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

“More bothersome, these warnings often seem to reflect a patronizing, self-centered view of the past — a need to signal how far we’ve advanced from an era whose customs, morals and political views no longer mesh with our own,” he wrote.

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The writer also criticized an “Oklahoma!” revival for warning audiences about the number of guns and when each gunshot would be heard in the show.

“Yes, a lot of people in the old Oklahoma Territory walked around toting guns — and sometimes even fired them. And yes, the White men who signed the Declaration of Independence were largely oblivious to the rights of women and people of color. But if we can’t change the past, can we at least try to understand it on its own terms?” he asked.

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