Cancel culture comes for Shakespeare, NYC city public school dumps play over ‘anti-Semitic’ themes

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The leftist obsession to censor and suppress anybody and anything that offends their overly sensitive feelings has claimed another victim with a New York City middle school pulling the plug on a William Shakespeare play after some parents expressed concern over antisemitic themes.

Shakespeare, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest playwrights and writers in the history of the English language and whose plays have been a fixture with drama students for centuries, is yet another timeless icon of western culture who like so many others has been reimagined as some sort of bigot under the intolerant ideology that has become dominant within the American educational system.

According to reports, the principal at the 75 Morton school in Greenwich Village responded to complaints about the play “A Merchant of Venice,” which was slated to be performed by a seventh-grade drama class by canceling the production without warning, bowing to pressure to those who claimed that “the material was appropriate for middle schoolers.”

The play, which was penned by the great bard in the 16th century, features the character Shylock, a Jewish moneylender whose portrayal as the unscrupulous antagonist has generated debate on whether the depiction has reinforced anti-Semitic tropes.

The New York Post reported that some Jewish parents were uneasy about the play and expressed their opinions to school administrators and Valerie Leak, the first-year principal and made enough of a case to justify giving Shakespeare the hook.

According to the Post, parents said “that they’re not flatly opposed to the production, which remains a theater company staple, but were concerned that it wasn’t appropriate for young students.”

“School sources said Leak pledged to hold meetings on the matter with parents, drama teachers and members of the Theater for a New Audience, the organization charged with collaborating with students on the play,” the newspaper noted.

But parents said that the meetings never took place and that the play was just canceled without notice. “Members of our community have expressed their objection to this play due to concerns about racist and anti-Semitic language,” school officials wrote to parents of drama students in an email,” the Post reported.

The paper also quoted a parent who lamented that a “teachable moment” was missed and “that he had reservations about the project but would have preferred a more meaningful exchange on the issue.”

“I think it needs to be properly contextualized,” he said. “There are great lessons in the Merchant of Venice. You can takes names like Shylock and apply them broadly into lessons about racism. But in order to teach that properly you need to have enough context as parents to say that this is something good for the school to do.”

The school will instead “focus on a playwriting curriculum,” according to the Post.

Twitter reacted to the news.

The shutdown of Shakespeare comes amidst a recent panic over antisemitism that culminated in the suspension of co-host Whoopi Goldberg of “The View” over remarks deemed to be insensitive towards The Holocaust which she insisted was “not about race.”

It’s hard to see where the cancel culture ends but now that even leftist celebrities have found out that they are not immune from the flames of the fires that they eagerly fed, there may be hope.


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