Last week, Broadway luminary Sierra Boggess was cast to portray Maria in the West End's concert version of West Side Story on August 11.
On Monday, however, she's decided to honorably withdraw from the special engagement after the casting announcement's backlash.
Sierra Boggess has withdrawn from a Proms presentation of West Side Story in the UK following backlash over her cas… https://t.co/23sdOtJFR4— BroadwayWorld (@BroadwayWorld) 1524506788.0
"After much reflection, I've realized that if I were to do this concert, it would once again deny Latinas the opportunity to sing this score, as well as deny the IMPORTANCE of seeing themselves represented onstage," Boggess wrote on her official Facebook page. "And that would be a huge mistake."
Since the announcement of this concert, I have had many conversations about why this is a crucial time, now more than ever, to not perpetuate the miscasting of this show.
The actress apologized for not having made the decision sooner, but her objective was clear in rectifying the show's history of cultural appropriation missteps.
I must ask myself how I can best serve the world, and in this case my choice is clearer than ever: to step aside and allow an opportunity to correct a wrong that has been done for years with this show in particular.
I have therefore withdrawn myself from this concert and I look forward to continuing to be a voice for change in our community and our world!
The concert will be honoring Leonard Bernstein in his centennial during the Proms 2018 series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall.
@BroadwayWorld This was a very classy move on her part. 👍👍— Fiona (@Fiona) 1524507087.0
@BroadwayWorld Thank you @sierraboggess Still love you!!— TAYH (@TAYH) 1524507163.0
Some were disappointed the Olivier-nominated actress was subjected to the fallout that may have informed her decision.
@BroadwayWorld Erm - I say for the film you might need to look Puerto Rican but for the Proms you should have the b… https://t.co/fNq55EtRtD— doggerel (@doggerel) 1524682966.0
@BroadwayWorld This is shocking - This is all getting sooooo out of control 😬😡 As she says it was / is a concert ve… https://t.co/VTbFVf290O— John Barr (@John Barr) 1524575174.0
@BroadwayWorld At this epoch in our cultural history, this was a lose - lose situation. Sorry for all the stress to… https://t.co/tZnVOuamHM— Steven M. Brown, MD (@Steven M. Brown, MD) 1524520034.0
Fans respected her admirable move.
I feel this was such an amazing thing for Sierra Boggess to do! Her selflessness and humility has made me an even b… https://t.co/53h3tALuO2— KstarKasey (@KstarKasey) 1524609924.0
Sierra Boggess exudes pure humility. Humility meaning Humanness. She's an incredible Human. https://t.co/42rhhU5Mti— Jared Weiss (@Jared Weiss) 1524559180.0