Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Principal Allows 'Rent' After Gay Content Uproar

I recently wrote about the decision of the principal of Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California to cancel a student production of the play "Rent" due to its gay characters and content. Soon after the story broke all Hell broke loose and the school became the focus of numerous media stories not to mention the subject of commentary shooting all across the blogosphere. Now, the principal has relented and the production of the show will be allowed. I am glad that censorship did not prevail and that one more apparent attempt by some to pretend that gays do not exist if they are merely not mentioned failed. Would that I had had some representations of gays being normal people when I was in high school. Here are somehighlights from the Orange County Register:
NEWPORT BEACH – A high school production of "Rent," whose cancelation triggered complaints of discrimination and homophobia, will be allowed to proceed, district officials announced today. Corona del Mar High School drama instructor Ron Martin two weeks ago accused his principal of killing the production because of its "homosexual content" – the play features gay characters and a drag queen.
Martin ultimately obtained a rush copy of the script, presented it to Asrani and asked for a written thumbs-up or thumbs-down to settle the matter and remove any doubts about her position. "I never had a problem with the play selected by Mr. Martin," Asrani said in a statement today. "The selection of our drama productions is his call. I just requested the opportunity to review the script before it was final.
District Superintendent Jeffrey Hubbard blasted coverage of the controversy, saying it cast Corona del Mar High School in an unfair light. "I have been extraordinarily disappointed that some media outlets chose to react to rumor as opposed to fact regarding both the production of the play, "Rent," and the reputation of Corona del Mar High School," Hubbard said in a statement.

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