Romeo and Juliet is an iconic play within the tragedy genre, it was written by William Shakespeare
An audition for the play Romeo y Julieta, by William Shakespeare, caused outrage among the inhabitants of Chiapas and Internet users on social networks, since discrimination would have been incurred by requesting profiles that are far from the appearance of the majority of Mexican men and women .
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The call was launched by the stage director Hiram Marina, who is also an official of the State Government, the work will be carried out in the Coordination of Theaters and Convention Center of San Cristobal de las Casas.
Among the physical characteristics of the casting is fair complexion for all the characters —including the equipment for the musical number—, light eyes for both Romeo and Juliet and for another role, on the other hand, the minimum heights requested range from 1.65 (for the narrator) and 1.80 meters. This phenotype does not correspond to the majority of the Mexican population.
Light eyes, white complexion and a certain height were the requirements that caused outrage (Screenshot)
“The most romantic story of all time invades the streets of San Cristobal de las Casas”, could be read in the virtual pamphlet. After the announcement went viral, many people and groups—including Poder Prieto—indignantly spread the call.
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And it is that the request incurs in discriminatory behavior and exclusion, according to the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED).
On this portal, you can read the following:
“Discrimination is considered to be any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference, in any public or private sphere, that has the objective or effect of nullifying or limiting the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, in conditions of equality, of one or more human rights. or fundamental freedoms and may be based on race, color, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.”
Despite the criticism and indignation shown by many people, Hiram Marina did not suspend the auditions or change the criteria, because on February 16 he wrote through his Facebook account that he had already found an actress to play Juliet.
The play was not suspended nor were the criteria for the auditions changed (FB/hiram.marina)
Instead, the stage director in San Cristobal de las Casas launched another call for the play Palenque Rojo, in which only people with brown complexions and indigenous features are sought.
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Among the comments on the Romeo and Juliet pamphlet, the following could be read: “Only whites do theater in Chiapas?”, “Really, who would have thought that only white people?”, “In a In a state like Chiapas, most of us are short with indigenous ancestry, dark-haired, with brown eyes. Shouldn’t they just ask for the experience?” and “Above clear eyes, but from where? Total discrimination”.
This is another casting but for people with brown skin
This romantic tragedy is considered a classic play, it is believed that it was staged around 1597, the writer was inspired by the poem The Tragic Story of Romeo and Juliet, written by Arthur Brooke around 1562. Although it has had thousands of different representations and adaptations, in which non-white people simply do not have the opportunity to participate, which is an act of discrimination.
More than 80% of young people in the Metropolitan Area define themselves as having a lighter skin tone to avoid being discriminated against, according to “The lighter the skin, the better they are treated” a publication of the Gazette of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
Tenoch Huerta, Mabel Cadena and Yalitza Aparicio are actors who are in Poder Prieto (Twitter/ @TenochHuerta/ @YalitzaAparicio / @MMabelCadena)
In the publication, the specialist from the Social Research Institute (IIS), Natividad Gutiérrez Chong, assured that in Mexico “chains of privilege or oppression are generated, because just as there are poor indigenous women, there are rich white women.”
On the other hand, in the digital publication of the UNAM Gazette it was reported that the most common exclusion is racial; even so, the majority of young people surveyed answered that they perceive this type of discrimination outside of Mexico and as an external situation.