February 4th, 2018

Wendy MacLeod Bows to Crowd

"Kenyon professor calls off original play about cultural insensitivity amid criticism that it's culturally insensitive."

The playwright is Wendy MacLeod, who is pretty well known. Not like David Mamet, but pretty well known. And she is the "playwright in residence" at Kenyon College.

I've always wondered about these writer-in-residence jobs. They sound sweet. Except, apparently, that the sensitivity kids can keep you from putting up your play.

"The play is inspired by a true story in which a group of Guatemalan minors were forced to work on an Ohio egg farm; three of their captors were convicted and a fourth was indicted last year. MacLeod’s play imagines what might happen if one of the youth escaped to a nearby liberal arts college and encountered a group of less-than-culturally-sensitive white undergraduates."

But it wasn't "white" students who complained. It was "Latin American" students. They didn't like the way the Guatemalan was portrayed. They didn't like that another character used the word "illegal" to describe him. They didn't like that he didn't have many lines - and no English lines at all. They didn't like that he was a "stereotype".

Of course MacLeod caved.
And the college administration
Issued congratulations
On how they all behaved.