EDITOR’S DESK | Comments of the week: ‘This hurts us’ vs. ‘I don’t see anything wrong with it’

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Actually, two comments — with the commenters demonstrating how to disagree, but engage in a respectful dialogue:

Bridgette ‘Leonard’ Ramaley

I appreciate this post, as I didn’t realize there was such controversy with Miss Saigon. And I even went to the Don’t Buy Miss Saigon Tickets website and read a bit there. But I have to admit I’m a bit baffled. There are statements made by this author and the website painting a specific picture of interpretation of the show. And it’s an interpretation that I don’t have.

First, you state above that the white male is painted as a hero at the end. Honestly, I’ve never seen him as a hero. I thought he was a complete mess! Kim is the heroine. She’s the one who perseveres through the atrocities, she’s the one raising a child on her own, and she’s the one who’s willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for her child. She’s the hero. She’s the strong one. He’s the one who can’t deal with the reality of what he helped to create.

Second, the website I went and looked at states that the musical romanticizes war and human trafficking. Again, this has never been my view of the show. I have always felt it showed the tragedy of what could happen in war, the awful circumstances people are forced into. I never felt it was romantic at all. So, maybe I’m just naive, but I don’t understand how my interpretation of the show translates into racism? And that’s an honest question! I welcome constructive comments.

Tiffany Vang

I think you are right. It’s all about perspective and what lens we are looking out from. I can’t convince you or anyone how hurt people are because of the musical, but what I can say, like what I have written in my article is that:

“Many of them didn’t understand why people would protest the show, but isn’t it chilling to think that a group of people, one that is barely visible in mainstream society and use to discrimination, is crying out and saying “this hurts us,” while the majority says “I don’t see anything wrong with it?”

I think that’s something to think about.

[Go to this Miss Saigon article and scroll down to read all of the comments.]

And the prize for the comment from farthest away goes to the Australian Pirate Party response to Grace Kelly’s post about the Minnesota Green and Pirate parties!