Social Media Apology
First and foremost, on behalf of myself, Jill and Gary, we would like to formally apologize for the recent events that transpired on social media and severely harmed our community. We would like to address the misrepresentation of our company, our initial response to this incident, and most importantly, the unintended impact that was caused, especially to our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ community members and artists.
Over the last week, it was brought to our attention that our San Diego Musical Theater Twitter account reflected ongoing support of political propaganda. The content “liked” under our SDMT account was rooted in racist, transphobic, homophobic, and xenophobic rhetoric, which is not what our company supports, believes in or represents. Regardless of whether this social media activity was intentional or not, it is unacceptable and inexcusable. SDMT has never been, nor will it ever be, a home for intolerance.
Upon learning of this activity, our initial response was unprofessional. Our reaction caused more harm to our community, and to the individuals who were trying to shed light on the gravity of this error and hold us accountable. We are disappointed by our initial response and should have taken a moment to pause and listen before reacting. We acknowledge the mistake in our approach and apologize for the lack of professionalism displayed.
The most heartbreaking aspect in all of this is not that our company name and reputation was tainted; it is that so many people and artists were negatively impacted by this ripple effect, most notable, our beautiful and talented cast of In the Heights. Our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists deserve a safe space to share their stories, passion and gifts with the world without fear of implicit bias, and we fell short in protecting them from harm and providing them with such a place. For this, we are deeply sorry.
We acknowledge our failure in not ensuring that our head of PR + Marketing maintained a responsible and respectful social media presence. The individual behind this misconduct has since been asked to step down and no longer holds a position within our company. Furthermore, we have reviewed our Twitter activity and removed all “likes” from insensitive and intolerant threads, articles and postings.
Moving forward, we will implement and uphold a new policy of checks and balances to guarantee regular auditing of social media content and activity prior to being made public. We will require persons overseeing all social media relations to comply with this. Additionally, we commit ourselves and our staff to continue trainings to examine our privilege, power and practices, and learn how to be true allies for our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ theater community and beyond. We understand these actions are not enough and devote ourselves to the ongoing work ahead.
Our San Diego theater community means everything to us, and we take your concerns seriously. We are dedicated to making our community a more inclusive, equitable and safe place for everyone. We recognize we still have much learning and growing to do, and we appreciate your patience as we unlearn harmful behaviors and norms embedded in our industry and society.
We thank you all for your honesty, support and compassion as we move towards healing from this incident.
With gratitude and love, Erin, Jill and Gary.