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August 19, 2014 at 6:02 AM

‘The Mikado,’ yellowface: All the coverage

The controversy about a Seattle “Mikado” production began with my July 14 Seattle Times column, “The yellowface of ‘The Mikado’ in your face.”

My Opinion Northwest blog post about the experience of watching the show: ” ‘The Mikado,’ yellowface and seeing the Seattle show”

If you spot other writing worth sharing, please let me know at schan@seattletimes.com or let me know on Twitter @sharonpianchan

News coverage:

NPR segment by Sam Sander: “Why We’ve Been Seeing More ‘Yellowface’ In Recent Months” NPR Codeswitch’s Kat Chow (a former Seattle Times intern) also did an online chat: “Roundtable: The Past And Present Of ‘Yellowface’ “

MSNBC news segment by anchor Richard Lui: “Stereotypes in ‘The Mikado’ Stir Controversy in Seattle”

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CBC Radio segment by host Stephen Quinn: “The Mikado controversy: Does opera have a race problem?”

NBCNews.com: “Stereotypes in ‘The Mikado’ Stir Controversy in Seattle

Northwest Asian Weekly: ” ‘Yellowface’ controversy over the ‘The Mikado’ — Gilbert & Sullivan opera incites protest”

WQRX, the New York classical music rado station, news story: ” ‘Asian blackface’ in ‘The Mikado” stirs controversy in Seattle”

Statements by community groups:

Seattle Repertory Theatre announced community dialogue for Aug. 18: Artistic freedom vs. artistic responsibility

Japanese American Citizens League: JACL Objects to Usage of Yellowface and Stereotypes in Seattle Production of The Mikado

OCA Greater Seattle on “The Mikado”

Chinese American Citizens Alliance: “Yellowface in 2014? Is It 2014 or 1914?”

Radio interviews:

Mikado cast member and KIRO Radio host Dave Ross and I debated the issue on his show: “Seattle Times editorial columnist and Dave Ross go head-to-head over “yellow face” in “The Mikado”

Ron and Don Show on KIRO Radio: “Seattle Times columnist says opera starring Dave Ross is racist”

Opinion commentary:

Seattle Times guest opinion by Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society Producer Mike Storie and Board member Gene Ma: ” ‘The Mikado’ is worth performing.” (Editorial Page Editor Kate Riley and I personally invited supporters of the show to submit guest opinion offering a different perspective from my column.)

Seattle Times guest opinion by artistic director Rick Shiomi, who created a 2013 Minneapolis version of “The Mikado” without stereotypes or yellowface acting: “Making ‘The Mikado’ without Asian stereotypes”

Seattle Times guest column by Westfield State University Professor Robin DiAngelo who writes about whiteness: “What does it mean to be white?”

Letters to the editor representing multiple perspectives in our Northwest Voices blog. Ken Narasaki, who co-wrote a play called “The Mikado Project,” contributed one of the letters.

CNN.com guest commentary by Jeff Yang: “Yellowface staging of ‘Mikado’ has to end”

Angry Asian Man blog: “Real-life yellowface! Now playing in Seattle”

Seattle Times commentary by theater critic Misha Berson: “The ‘Mikado’ controversy: A call for calm discourse”

International Examiner editorial board: ” ‘The Mikado’ controversy an opportunity to create and educate”

Atlantic Media’s Quartz commentary by Gwynn Guilford: “It’s time to stop using ‘exoticism’ as an excuse for opera’s racism”

Stranger commentary by Brendan Kiley: The problem with The Mikado

ReAppropriate guest post by Sean Miura: “Undoing ‘Mikado': Japan is not an imaginary place, and I am not a metaphor”

The You Offend Me You Offend My Family blog has a humor take (I approve of the KKK and apocalypse scenarios in this humor post): “6 Times When it’s OK for white people to don yellow face”

Actress Erin Quill writes her own lyrics for a song from “The Mikado” on her blog: “I have ‘A Little List’ too — buckle up”

Actress Lucy Sheen, on a personal blog, responds to the KIRO Radio debate with Dave Ross where he asks whether Japanese actors who wear kabuki-theater makeup are playing Caucasian roles: “Kabuki is NOT white face”

Bo Lim, an associate professor of Old Testament at Seattle Pacific University, used “The Mikado” to discuss about stereotypes still used in evangelical teachings in a post for the Sojourners website: “Why Evangelicals Should Care About ‘The Mikado’ Controversy If They Care About Reconciliation in the Church”

Comments | Topics: arts, asian americans, race

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