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Broadway Actress Sierra Boggess Drops Out Of 'West Side Story' Amid Racial Casting Controversy

Broadwaycom/YouTube, Sierra Boggess Official/Facebook

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.





"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I have therefore withdrawn myself from this concert and I look forward to continuing to be a voice for change in our community and our world!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.



Some were disappointed the Olivier-nominated actress was subjected to the fallout that may have informed her decision.




Fans respected her admirable move.




H/T - Twitter, Playbill, YouTube, Facebook