What a joy it was to watch The Wiz Live last night. To see and hear Ms. Stephanie Mills belt out the opening number in classic fine-form reminded me of many of her songs which were part of the soundtrack of my earlier youth. Of course there were comparisons to the original Wiz production, but in my mind, there was not a fault to be found in this latest production. They brought down the house!
Yet, during last night’s awesome-Black-star studded presentation of The Wiz, not everyone saw it that way. While most of the feedback was awesome, Twitter was also afire-not with appreciation but with hateration. See what had happened was White-twitter Wiz-haters tried to burn down the house with racism and negativity. White Wiz-haters decried the fact that the lead roles in the production were all played by Black actors.
Their hating and negative vibes didn’t work. The cast presented the traditionally Black-casted Wiz with aplomb, which probably further incited the hating. Some people just can’t stand to see others succeed knowing they had no hand or at least no visible hand in their success.
Most likely all the White-twitter Wiz-haters probably were not inherently racist, but they were all inherently jealous, misguided and misinformed. As is so very common, many White people want to be a part of anything that Blacks do well.
Those that were hate’in fall into the White school of thought that White people are somehow responsible or should be attributed-when Blacks do well. Yet, they rarely want to take ownership for the things they do that are to their detriment. They weren’t attempting to call-out and address racism-as evidenced by their tweets. If they were, it was misguided, because they didn’t acknowledge that racism is what creates a need for Blacks to create their own productions. And, “Yes”, racism still exists to drive that need. As well as, the the fact that Blacks are perfectly permitted to create all-Black or mostly Black productions-just as Whites do. Not everything is for everybody-or about everybody.
Some White people’s indisputable legacy of being descendants of some of the most vicious and racist people in history compel many of them to want to assuage themselves of that legacy- with just about anything thing and every opportunity they can. That includes wanting to see themselves as part of something creative, community-building, and happiness endorphin-inducing.
So much so, do some White people need to see themselves in every Black accomplishment, that they will even rewrite history and credit themselves with Black accomplishments. This is nothing new. We’ve seen it when Black Egyptian Gods and Kings and Queens are depicted as White in major Hollywood productions.
We’ve seen it in the attempts to take Black music and dance as their own. I can’t tell you the number of White boys I see dancing hip-hop style in commercials, movies and talent shows-without an attribution to Black people in sight.
So, no it’s not new that they would hate on a stellar production of The Wiz and inject their negativity into the evening. The Wiz was a production that brought smiles to our faces for 2 hours, during a time when horrendous acts of violence against our people, our children and humanity in general leaves us scratching our head. That’s the power of jealousy; it couldn’t be tempered for 2 measly hours to just enjoy other people doing well. Sigh.
Yet, if those White-twitter Wiz-haters weren’t blinded by their own jealousy, they would’ve been able to see that production of The Wiz most likely did have some White hands in the mix. They may not have been visible-and those types always want to be visible-but they were indeed present.
NBC itself is a White-run network and it presented the production. Apple, which was made quite prominent in the production, is White-run. The marketing team for the production most-likely was made-up of, or consisted of White people. The Advertising support for the production was from majority White-owned and/or White–run companies. While these support roles can’t take credit for the outstanding script or the stellar acting, they were important roles to in the production- never-the-less.
Instead of White-twitter being happy that White people contributed to something stellar in a number of ways-large and small-they choose to focus on the “fact” that they didn’t see White people on the stage, front and center.
I wonder if those same White-twitter Wiz- haters will complain when XYZ network airs The Wizard of Oz, (as they almost annually do) that there are no Black people in the cast?
To bring things more current, while I was watching The Wiz Live, I saw a commercial advertisement for “Wicked” that doesn’t have any Blacks cast in the major roles (a few in ensemble roles).
Will White-twitter complain about that? Will Black-twitter?