I wrote here about the staging in Washington, DC of a portion of “Ferguson,” a play based exclusively on the testimony presented to the grand jury that declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson. The full play is scheduled to debut tomorrow in Los Angeles. However, the Daily Caller reports that this week several actors quit the production because once they read the script, they felt it didn’t portray Michael Brown in a sufficiently positive light.
As noted, the play portrays Brown as he was portrayed by eyewitnesses who testified before the grand jury. The script consists of nothing but testimony.
The actors are correct that the grand jury testimony didn’t portray Brown favorably. For example, two African-American eyewitnesses — Keira Jenkins and Mary Adams — who are played by actresses in “Ferguson,” repeatedly confirmed Brown’s hands never went up. “Why won’t he stop, why won’t that boy stop?” Adams recalled thinking when she saw Brown rush towards Wilson.
If actors can’t handle the truth, they have every right to opt out of “Ferguson.” Doing so speaks poorly of them, though.
Then there are the “critics.” According to the Daily Caller, “the play has already taken heat from critics saying it will only inflame already tense relations and fuel the anger behind rioting.”
Imagine the praise the same critics would dishing out if the play served up the false “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative, pretending that the “gentle giant” was repeatedly shot by Wilson while attempting to surrender. Would the obvious tendency of such a play to “inflame tense relations and fuel anger” result in “heat” from critics?
Of course not. Liberal critics love works of art that make people uncomfortable and challenge accepted wisdom, the consequences be damned. Unless, of course the accepted wisdom is liberal orthodoxy and those made uncomfortable are the liberal critics themselves.
My suggestion. Find new actors and set up a safe space in the theater — with cookies, play-doh, and a video of frolicking puppies — for critics and others who find the truth, in the form of the Ferguson grand jury testimony, “triggering.”