Interpreter for Bdwy’s Lion King Sues TDF after Being Fired for Being White - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Interpreter for Bdwy’s Lion King Sues TDF after Being Fired for Being White

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By:  Jared Evan

Wokeism and race-based obsessions have taken over Broadway and absurdity is thriving.

The New York Post has the exclusive report that an American Sign Language interpreter for performances of Disney’s The Lion King of Broadway designed for the deaf community has reached a settlement after being fired for not being Black.

Over the past two years in wake of the George Floyd incident, an extremist, radical, race obsessed group of anti-white radicals have tried to literally hijack Broadway. Known as W.S.Y.W.A.T, (we see you, white American theater), the irrational and unhinged activists, have made a huge list of demands on Broadway, which is widely published.

One of the most absurdist demands made by W.S.Y.W.A.T  includes banning NYPD from patrolling Broadway theaters, one of the many targets of terrorists in NYC.

An anonymous Broadway employee believes the activist group’s pressure is party to blame for the sign language debacle. “There is a climate of fear in the business, where politically correct, well-intentioned artists are intimidated by the extremist BLM inspired activists, this sign language incident at Lion King is most likely a result of the activist pressure”, a source told TJV

NY Post reported that Keith Wann and the Theatre Development Fund — a nonprofit that provides ASL interpreters at Broadway shows — resolved the dispute outside of court just two weeks after Wann filed his lawsuit and The New York Post published a front-page report.

“The matter between myself and TDF has been resolved and both parties are satisfied with the discussions that ensued,” Wann wrote in a social media post announcing the settlement. “I look forward to the review of the process that will come from this to hopefully benefit the interpreting profession.”

Wann filed the lawsuit on Nov. 8 after he and another interpreter, Christina Mosleh, were told to back out of the production in April so they could be replaced by black sign-language experts, according to the suit and emails obtained by The New York Post’s Jacob Geanous.

“Keith Wann, though an amazing ASL performer, is not a black person and therefore should not be representing Lion King,” Shelly Guy, the director of ASL for “The Lion King,” told Lisa Carling, the director of the Theatre Development Fund’s accessibility programs, in an email.

In Wann’s statement this week, the interpreter addressed the criticism he faced online and the debates his lawsuit spawned.

“Over the last week I have seen a lot of pain in our community and have also seen some much-needed conversations,” Wann wrote. “It is unfortunate that assumptions were made, and conclusions were drawn without all the facts.”

Keith Wann, 53, was one of at least two people forced off the production by the non-profit Theatre Development Fund – which staffs Broadway shows with American Sign Language interpreters – after the group decided it was “no longer appropriate to have white interpreters represent black characters for ASL Broadway shows.”

It is important to note, the characters in The Lion King are lions, hyenas, warthogs, and other assorted wildlife, in fact there are no human characters portrayed in the show. While the cast is usually all black, there are no “black” characters at all, only animals.

Wann filed a federal discrimination lawsuit on Tuesday against the organization and the director of its accessibility programs, Lisa Carling.

Carling told him and interpreter Christina Mosleh to “back out” of the show — which celebrates its 25th anniversary on Sunday — so they could be replaced by black sign-language experts, according to the suit and emails obtained by The New York Post.

“To me, just seeing that discrimination, it doesn’t matter if I’m white or black,” said Wann. “This is blatant, and I would just hope that other people who have also experienced this would step forward.”

Wann, a sign language interpreter and performer who has been working in New York for more than a decade, was offered the chance in March to work on one of Broadway’s most-acclaimed and longest-running shows.

But days later, he was shocked when he received an email from Carling sheepishly asking him and another interpreter to leave the show, citing “the current social climate.”

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