Broadway Has Fully Outpaced Hollywood In Diversity
All four Tony Awards for musical performances were given to black actors
Here’s something to celebrate: At last night’s Tony Awards, all four musical performance trophies—Featured Actor, Featured Actress, Lead Actor, and Lead Actress in a Musical—were handed out to black actors and actresses.
For context, fourteen Oscars have been given to black performers in the entire history of the Academy Awards, which just had its 88th ceremony in February.
Just marinate in that for a while. Television is getting its act together little by little and increasing the amount of programming centered around women, people of color and LGBT characters and Broadway is currently stacked with buzzworthy productions showcasing diverse casts, like The Color Purple, Hamilton and Eclipsed. Meanwhile, Oscar-winning screenwriter David Franzoni wants Leonardo DiCaprio to play the Persian poet Rumi in an upcoming biopic, with an additional dreamcasting of Robert Downey Jr. to play Rumi’s mentor, Shams of Tabriz. Wait, what?!
Take a page out of the Broadway playbook, Hollywood. The Tony Awards hit their highest ratings in 15 years the same year you got lambasted by #OscarsSoWhite, which, by the way, had the ceremony’s lowest viewership numbers since 2008. It’s almost like a broader audience is waiting for content that represents them before they’ll tune in to watch you pat each other on the back for a job white done—oops! Sorry. A job well done.
Now watch the cast of The Color Purple perform a medley of songs from their Best Revival-winning show on Sunday’s Tony broadcast.