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A Troubling Precedent?
Unfortunately the directors at Amherst Regional High School have canceled "West Side Story" due to student opposition (Back Stage, Nov. 19). With all the controversy one would think that Nazi art was being advocated in the name of artistic freedom.
This decision sets a troubling precedent. Should "Kiss Me, Kate" be performed if it offends feminists? Will "Ain't Misbehavin' " be forbidden because of its African-American stereotypes? Does "Jesus Christ Superstar" insult Jews and Christians? Is "Hello Dolly" too risky due to its heterosexism?
Yes "West Side Story" has its share of cultural stereotypes including Puerto Rican immigrants, white street thugs, and racist police. But let's not forget the underlying themes: hope, love and racial tolerance. In spite of some wonderful and spirited local dialogue, I regret the outcome.