Some folks in the Twitterverse apparently don’t know their musical history.
Angry Twitter users took to the social media platform in the days leading up to NBC’s broadcast of “The Wiz Live!” to decry what they considered racist casting. The Thursday-night live production featured an all-black cast led by Queen Latifah, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo and newcomer Shanice Williams.
That is in keeping with the history of the stage musical, which has always featured a black cast, as well as the 1978 film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
However, many Twitter users vented about the casting nonetheless.
I just learned there is a black version of The Wizard of Oz called “The Wiz” – how is this not racist?
– Evan (@MJTM) November 23, 2015
One user, after tweeting, “This is how I feel. Remaking something with an all-black cast seems…a tiny bit racist. #TheWiz,” deleted her tweet, then went on to explain the thinking behind that deleted tweet.
I deleted a tweet. I was trying to bring awareness. No race should be proud about excluding other races. Not the original. Not the remake.
– Melly (@4princessmel) December 4, 2015
Those complaints about race sparked a heated debate during Thursday’s broadcast. As the hashtag #TheWiz trended throughout the night, the complainers came under fire themselves.
So white ppl mad bc “the wiz” cast is all black,talking about “what if we had a all white cast of the wiz”umm y’all did… the wizard of oz
– Chardae (@Justcallme_dae) December 4, 2015
Fellow white people, I need all of you to realize that we aren’t fierce enough to perform The Wiz. We gotta stick to Oklahoma and stuff… — Jordan Milam (@Jordan_Milam) December 4, 2015
People not realizing The Wiz and The Wizard of Oz are two different shows and wondering why the cast is all black….. I’m just……..
– Kirstyn Hippe (@kirstynhippe) December 3, 2015
There’s already a “White Wiz.” It’s called the Wizard of Oz & there were no blacks in it..So they made the Wiz! The Wiz isn’t racist,stop it — Maya Beatty (@_mayamia12) December 4, 2015
– Ms. China (@mschinapojazz) December 3, 2015
So ppl are mad that this is an all black cast.. But the original The Wiz was too.. I’m confused. — Zandra Mackey (@I_am_zee_M) December 4, 2015