Playbill, the month-to-month journal that serves as official applications for Broadway, most of Off Broadway and different arts institutes, is signing off Twitter for good, citing the platform’s “greatly expanded” tolerance for “hate, negativity, and misinformation.”
“As a respected news outlet for the Broadway community, we feel we can no longer continue to utilize a platform where the line between actual news and insidious rhetoric has become blurred beyond recognition,” the company stated right this moment in a press release.
The announcement was made right this moment by Philip S. Birsh, Playbill Chairman and CEO, and Chief Operating Officer Alex Birsh, in a closing tweet to its greater than than 412,000 followers.
The exit marks a major blow to what’s generally referred to as Theater Twitter, the posters and commenters who relish all issues Broadway from official information to backstage gossip. Though Playbill historically stayed away from the latter, its presence on the platform has lengthy served as a form of Broadway bulletin board.
But the acquainted model discovered itself on the middle of a Theater Twitter controversy simply final month, when its new Editor in Chief Diep Tran tweeted on her personal Twitter account what was interpreted (or misinterpreted) by some followers as antisemitic. In the quickly deleted tweets, she appeared to counsel that Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt, a fictionalized however autobiographical drama concerning the Holocaust and Stoppard’s personal later-in-life embrace of his Jewish roots, was succeeding on the Broadway field office at the very least partially on the expense of Black performs akin to Topdog/Underdog, The Piano Lesson and the brand new staging of Death of a Salesman. (For the report, The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson has confirmed to be one of many fall Broadway season’s stronger field office newcomers.)
Although Tran had praised Leopoldstadt in a glowing and considerate review for Broadway News, her new feedback drew some warmth. One of her followers commented, “…as the new EIC of Playbill, you actually do owe an explanation of why you’re trafficking in antisemitic tropes.”
Tran, who had written about theater for New York Magazine, The New York Times and different publications previous to taking the highest job at Playbill final month, apologized and clarified, tweeting, “I’m sorry for the tweets. What I wanted to show was how wonderful it was that Leopoldstadt was finding success in such a difficult time, and how I wish other plays can be as successful. I want people to see that play, and all the other plays. But I was careless. I will be better.”
A spokesman for Playbill stated the incident was not associated to right this moment’s choice.
The company says it’s going to proceed to take part in Instagram, Facebook, and TikTook, however famous that its participation on these platforms is “subject to ongoing review.”
Here is the total assertion launched right this moment:
To our pricey associates and valued followers,
This year Playbill celebrated its 138th anniversary. We, as a family-owned company, have at all times strived to be a relentless supply of help for the complete theater neighborhood, participating followers and spotlighting the unbelievable professionals who work tirelessly to maintain the lights of Broadway shining brightly throughout our nation. Our core values have at all times centered round neighborhood, kindness, collaboration, inclusion, and reality.
In latest weeks, Twitter, Inc. has tremendously expanded its tolerance for hate, negativity, and misinformation. As a revered information outlet for the Broadway neighborhood, we really feel we are able to now not proceed to make the most of a platform the place the road between precise information and insidious rhetoric has turn out to be blurred past recognition.
As of right this moment, Friday, November 11, Playbill will now not be lively on Twitter.
The following accounts will now not be lively: @Playbill, @PlaybillJourney, @PLAYBILLder, @PlaybillArts, @PlaybillRetailer. Regardless of blue or grey checkmarks, should you see a tweet from a Twitter account that incorporates our identify, please perceive that it isn’t us.
Moving ahead, we hope you’ll proceed to comply with us on Playbill.com. We will even proceed to take part in Instagram, Facebook, and TikTook. Our participation on these three social media platforms are topic to ongoing evaluate.
This choice displays the requirements that we maintain pricey at Playbill.