‘Romeo & Juliet’ actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers backed in open letter condemning “racist and misogynistic abuse”

‘Romeo & Juliet’ actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers backed in open letter condemning “racist and misogynistic abuse”

Actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers has been backed in open letter condemning the “racist and misogynistic abuse” she has received since her casting in Romeo & Juliet.

Following the announcement of the cast, which also includes Tom Holland, Amewudah-Rivers was subject to a “barrage” of online abuse.

In response, The Jamie Lloyd Company made a statement condemning the “barrage of deplorable racial abuse online directed towards a member of our company.”

They continued: “This must stop. We are working with a remarkable group of artists. We insist that they are free to create work without facing online harassment.”

“Any abuse will not be tolerated and will be reported. Bullying and harassment have no place online, in our industry or in our wider communities,” the theatre company wrote.

“We celebrate the extraordinary talent of our incredible collaborators. The Romeo & Juliet community will continue to rehearse with generosity and love, and focus on the creation of our production.”

In response to the abuse, an open letter signed by over 800 black artists has been published in The Guardian today (April 10), in support of the actress.
The letter read: “When news of Francesca Amewudah-Rivers’ casting in Jamie Lloyd’s production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ was announced so many people celebrated and welcomed this news. Many of us took to social media to shower our baby sis with love and congratulations – a huge deal for someone so young in their career. A huge rising talent.
“But then what followed was a too familiar horror that many of us visible Black dark skinned performers have experienced. The racist and misogynistic abuse directed at such a sweet soul has been too much to bear. For a casting announcement of a play to ignite such twisted ugly abuse is truly embarrassing for those so empty and barren in their own lives that they must meddle in hateful abuse.”
Among the signatories were Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Marianne Jean-Baptiste , Lolly Adefope, Freema Agyeman, Wunmi Mosaku and Tamara Lawrance.
The letter continued: “Too many times theatre companies, broadcasters, producers and streamers have failed to offer any help or support when their Black artists face racist or misogynistic abuse. Reporting is too often left on the shoulders of the abused, who are also then expected to promote said show.
“We want to send a clear message to Francesca and all Black women performers who face this kind of abuse – we see you. We see the art you manage to produce with not only the pressures that your white colleagues face but with the added traumatic hurdle of misogynoir. We are so excited to watch you shine.”
The production will run from May 11 to August 3 at the Duke Of York’s Theatre in London.

According to Deadline, tickets for the twelve-week run totally sold out in under two hours, and the production will reportedly be transferring to Broadway after its London run finishes.

The post ‘Romeo & Juliet’ actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers backed in open letter condemning “racist and misogynistic abuse” appeared first on NME.

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