I am writing to address the concerns of many who took the time to contact us tonight regarding the review of The Mikado at Young Victorian Theatre Company that DC Metro Theater Arts published earlier today.
After reading the comments of multiple readers who were highly offended by its defense of the original intent of The Mikado, a show widely accepted as an insensitive glorification of 19th century Orientalism, I decided to pull the review. It was a failure on our part that it made it to publication without proper oversight and we recognize that people were hurt by this action. We will be reviewing our editorial processes to ensure that this is not something that occurs again.
There is an important debate going on in the American theater community about how to deal with dated material that was written in a time when the white, male, heterosexual viewpoint was the predominant voice in art and culture (and politics and home life). Theaters regularly produce material that is lauded for its production value but is regressive in its treatment and perspective on marginalized individuals. Just as theaters have an obligation in deciding whether and how to produce such material, critics have a responsibility to review these productions with an awareness of the problematic historical context of the show and a critical eye towards the intent of the current production.
The review published on our site today was insensitive to the legitimate concerns of the Asian American population and to anyone who strives for equal opportunities in performing arts spaces. We are deeply sorry for having published this content and welcome feedback regarding this or any of our reviews.