The production of Miss Saigon at the Ordway Center of the Performing Arts in St. Paul opened to protests last week, reports AA Press.
Opponents gathered at nearby Rice Park to hand out information leaflets. This is the third time the production has come to the St. Paul area, and each time its been met with protests for its portrayal of Vietnamese Americans.
Ramsey County attorney John Choi was among those offended by the production.
“To the extent that this production glamorizes the trafficking of teenage girls, or sends a message to men that buying sex from girls is ok, or serves in any way to perpetuate negative cultural stereotypes, it is counterproductive and undermines our efforts to call the selling of our children what it is: modern day slavery,” Choi said.
Those speaking out against Miss Saigon were not limited to Asian Americans and included many public officials.
“I have asked my staff to ensure that our schools do not in any organized way take part in the Miss Saigon performances,” said St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva. “I have also asked staff to contact the Ordway to ensure that the district and its teachers are not offered donated tickets.”
Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins was blunt and called for Miss Saigon to be “relegated to the same scrap heap as other productions that denigrated and stereotyped African Americans and others.”
But St Paul Mayor Chris Coleman disagreed. “I simply can’t involve myself in choosing or directing the content, message, or presentation within these great Saint Paul institutions. That kind of direct involvement would not produce good results for the organizations or the city.”
You can read more about the debate in AA Press.