Some students at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) in Kansas say a school-sponsored operetta production is not only “racist,” but also rife with “cultural appropriation.”
FHSU Music and Theatre describes its production of The Mikado as “a fun burlesque romp about the whimsy of love” on its Facebook page. According to the operetta’s description, the play takes place “in a mythical Japan,” where the main character “has been appointed Lord High Executioner and must find someone to execute before the arrival of the ruling Mikado.”
However, not all FHSU students were receptive to the operetta’s comedic nature, deeming it an offensive instance of cultural appropriation.
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“[S]aw this on campus earlier this morning- CRAZY how blatant racism is still happening,” tweeted an FHSU student calling herself Fatima, attaching pictures of a vandalized poster for the operetta with the word “RACISM“ scrawled across it in permanent marker, along with a typed criticism of the event attached via tape.
“The Mikado is racist for many reasons so when I saw the Dr. Joseph Perniciaro picked this for the opera I was appalled. The Mikado is cultural appropriation, it is RACIST, it is ‘yellow-face,’ and it sure as hell shouldn’t be a production that still exists,” the page reads.
“To begin, the opera is about Japanese people… *BUT* … it is being performed here at Fort Hays State University with an all NON-ASIAN CAST,” the tirade continues, declaring that “All this production is, is an exaggeration of Japanese stereotypes.”
“This production was not okay when it was created and it definitely isn’t ok today – like COME ON, it’s 2018,” the response proclaims.
“I 100% SUPPORT THE PERSON WHO POSTED THESE THINGS,” FHSU student Anniston tweeted in response to the criticism, while Jay, another student, shared Fatima’s tweet, writing, “Expose them.”
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Other students, though, support the production wholeheartedly.
“Everyone in Hays needs to go see FHSU’s producti
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10797