Lea Salonga speaks up on racial diversity issue in int'l theater | Inquirer Entertainment

Lea Salonga speaks up on racial diversity issue in int’l theater

/ 05:41 PM May 08, 2018
lea salonga

Image: Instagram/@msleasalonga

Broadway star Lea Salonga joins the chorus of black, Asian and minority ethnicity (BAME) actors denouncing an agent’s statement that minority actors are taking white performers’ jobs.

United Kingdom agent Gemma Hamilton of Lowy Hamilton Artists wrote in a private forum that “BAME-only breakdowns” exist only to “[add] that va-va-voom to the cast list.” She complained that it’s been “putting talented ‘white’ performers out of work.” Incidentally, she herself is white.


However, a screenshot of the comment has been circulated on social media and has triggered criticism from the UK theater community.

Hamilton has since apologized, but the remark “va-va-voom” has since been reclaimed in a hashtag on Twitter where actors of minority ethnicities celebrate productions they’ve been a part of.


In a series of tweets, Salonga expressed support for the movement as she shared her iconic roles over the years.

“You ain’t ready for this. Time for me to #VaVaVoom,” she said with her typical sass as she featured her “Les Miserables” performance.

She also posted her roles in  Broadway’s “Miss Saigon” and in Disney movies. Salonga provided the singing voice to characters Princess Jasmine in “Aladdin” and Mulan.

“For the longest time, we people of color don’t always see ourselves represented on stage, film or TV. We should celebrate that we’re now able to, more than before. To resent inclusion? Not classy,” Salonga stressed.

“And ‘closed forums’ don’t exist,” she added.

The actress is currently part of Broadway’s “Once on This Island,” which features a racially diverse cast.  /ra


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TAGS: diversity, Lea Salonga, racial diversity, representation, United Kingdom
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