'Slave Play' Shut Out Of Tony Award Wins Despite 12 Nominations
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'Slave Play' Shut Out Of Tony Award Wins Despite 12 Nominations

Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play was shockingly shut out of any Tony wins despite its 12 nominations. As The Hollywood Reporter writes, the play now has the worst record at the Tonys, taking the spot from 1995’s multiple-nominated play Indiscretions, which had nine nominations.

Harris tweeted about the reaction, writing that he’s still happy with the show being recognized for the effect it’s had on audiences. He also wrote about how Black people nominated the play, not white theatergoers.

“Can someone point the hoteps who said ‘Old yt ppl just love Slave Shit so much they gave it all the awards’ to tonight,” he wrote. “The ppl who nominated SP were significantly younger and blacker than anyone who voted. Anyway Partying tonight in Manhattan bc history was made in spite!”

“Lol also I told my mom this was gonna happen this morning bc we knew who these folx were when we put the play on stage in nyc. [T]hat’s why we put a mirror up,” he continued. “Slave Play has never won one of the major awards of any of the great voting bodies but changed a culture and has inspired thousands of ppl who didn’t care about theatre before,” he wrote. “I saw someone randomly reading the play in Slovenia. We already won. I wrote my play for a basement.”

The play had critical acclaim for its bold take on race relations, but many also found it so obscene that a petition was formed to shut the play down, as Shadow and Act reported in 2019. The petition’s creator, Ashley B. called it “the most disrespectful displays of anti-Black sentiment as art that I have ever seen,” adding that as a Black woman, she was “terribly offended and traumatized by the graphic imagery mixed with laughter from a predominately white audience.”

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