Did Black Lives Matter Change Broadway?


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During the protests that followed the murder of George Floyd, Broadway theatres were among the many institutions to announce a commitment to equity and protecting Black lives. But, for many Black performers, the promise rang hollow. Frustrated by what he perceived to be a lack of accountability, the actor Britton Smith and his colleagues at Broadway Advocacy Coalition organized events that pointed to the industry’s failures and called for genuine change. B.A.C. won a Tony Award for its work. Two years later, however, “the fire [has] crumbled into ashes, and now the ashes are starting to settle,” Smith tells Ngofeen Mputubwele. “You have to go through a process of [finding] peace. . . . Some people are horrible. Some people want to learn, some people don’t. Some people want to keep their power, some people don’t.”

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