Did You Hear “The Wiz” Has An All-Black Cast?
Tonight at 8pm ET, NBC will be airing a live performance of “The Wiz,” an updated version of the classic Broadway adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz.” And just as the original 1978 film starred black icons like Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, the new version will feature an all-black cast including Mary J. Blige, Uzo Aduba, Amber Riley, and Queen Latifah as The Wiz.
Which means that a certain portion of the internet that’s uncomfortable with racial issues has lost its damn mind.
BuzzFeed has collected a truly mortifying list of people complaining that “The Wiz” has an all-black cast and everyone would be mad if it had an all-white cast like that “Gods of Egypt” movie, so isn’t that totally reverse racism?
No, guys. No, it’s not racist. Because the whole point of “The Wiz” is that it’s a black adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz.” Which did, in fact, have an all-white cast.
Meanwhile, CNN ran into trouble with an article called “The Wiz Live! Why you need to watch with Black Twitter,” which tries to celebrate black culture on the internet and ends up sounding super patronizing, like Black Twitter is a newly discovered society in a jungle somewhere.
“Black Twitter” refers to the complex and powerful society on Twitter that focuses on issues of interest to the black community, be they political, social or entertainment.
They will be the ones to watch for the memes, the hashtags and the like that will determine whether “The Wiz Live” will be “da bomb” or a bust. They have been the ones who have roasted the likes of Lifetime’s Aaliyah and Whitney Houston biopics and delighted social media with #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies.
Our host Jay Walker has more on the internet’s reaction, good and bad: