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Twitter doesn’t understand why ‘The Wiz’ is an all-black musical
Those who don’t know their history are doomed to look like fools on the Internet.
Musical theater lovers are gearing up for NBC’s live-stage performance of The Wiz tonight, a rock musical retelling of The Wizard of Oz that promises to be great fun for the whole family—except for the people on Twitter who don’t understand why it features an all-black cast.
Let’s ease on down the road of embarrassment:
My two younger sisters said “oh but if it was all white it would be racist” and “black people are the real racist ones”
— brotato chip (@svrreall) December 1, 2015
Why change every single characters color in the wiz? If every black character in tv or movies was switched to white there’d be an uproar.
— Declan Madden (@DeclanMadden2) December 2, 2015
I just learned there is a black version of The Wizard of Oz called “The Wiz” – how is this not racist?
— Evan (@MJTM) November 23, 2015
While all you sweet things might think this is just the world and the way things are on the Internet, there’s an extra component to this absurdity: The Wiz is actually a 40-year-old musical done by an all-black creative team including Charlie Smalls and Luther Vandross. The movie was produced by Quincy Jones and starred Diana Ross, Lena Horne, and Michael Jackson. In short, NBC’s version is doing what every other performance of this musical has done since 1978.
LOL Y’ALL REALLY THOUGHT THE WIZ WASN’T AN ALL BLACK CAST?!? LMAOO ARE YOU DUMB?!?? pic.twitter.com/7j2j2emS0a
— diggy (@Makalaaaah) December 3, 2015
Of course, The Oz hardly the first all-minority musical retelling.
Despite those erroneous tweets, last night’s live version of The Wiz was still a resounding success—and those prejudiced voices on Twitter have rapidly been drowned out by hours and hours of subsequent ridicule from the rest of the Internet.
Editor’s note: This story has been edited for tone and clarity.
Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.