Sunday 18th February 2018,

Asian Americans

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Dallas Summer Musicals Reverses Yellowcasting in “The King & I”

posted by Randall

The King & I (This post has been updated with video report from WFAA)

This happened so quickly I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

In a letter published in Broadway World responding to concerns about yellowcasting in its production of The King & I, Dallas Summer Musicals’ president Michael Jenkins wrote:

“We have heard your comments, and we have heard your concerns, and we are now going back to find an actor of Asian descent for the role of the King. WE HAVE HEARD YOU, and we are working to guarantee a positive result for both you and also for a quality production. We have heard you and we take your comments seriously.”


The letter was in response to an open letter released by the Asian American Performer’s Action Coalition protesting the decision to cast a white actor as King Mongkut of Siam.

AAPAC wrote “While there is a historical precedent for white actors playing this role, this precedent was the product of a long history of yellowface casting that is no longer acceptable today. The perpetuation of this practice is hurtful to Asians and disdainful to many others.”

Dallas Summer Musicals said it had considered numerous actors for the role of the king, but said “they were all “on hold” pending a call back from the Lincoln Center Production.” That New York production has cast Ken Watanabe as the King.

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