Chanhassen Dinner Theaters in Minnesota has decided to change from "Cinderella" to "Footloose" in 2022, due to concerns over Cinderella being "98 percent white".
"Last June, after the killing of George Floyd, a call to action came from theatre artists across the United States and in our own community to foster change in our industry in regard to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) – both on our stages and within our creative teams and administrations."
"We have taken this call to heart. Since that time, leadership has been looking deeply at our practices, our biases and historical mistakes we have made with open hearts and minds to change. As theatre artists and business leaders, we are fully committed to having not only our stages but our entire organization be a reflection of the beautiful and rich diversity in our society."
The company issued a statement saying:
"After careful consideration and with our ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres has made the decision to cancel our upcoming production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 'Cinderella'. Our hope in beginning the production process again with a new title will allow us to put into practice an intentional process based on the work we have been doing towards equity and inclusivity."
According to the Washington Examiner, artistic director Michael Brindisi said that the company is committing itself to "scrap this and start fresh with a clean slate," and that while some cast members are disappointed, they "respected the very hard decision we had to make."
Brindisi continued, "I’ve taken on some specific things in my personal life and some long-time issues I’ve had with family members. I’ve confronted some things that I haven’t confronted before. I’m on a journey to find out where I can be a better person and even an activist and ally."