Five actors cast in Phelim McAleer's new play Ferguson have walked out, claiming objections to the "tone" of the play about the shooting death of Michael Brown by Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.
One of the actors, Philip Casnoff, told the Los Angeles Times:
"It felt like the purpose of the piece was to show, 'Of course [Wilson] was not indicted — here's why,'" Casnoff said. He said that after he learned who the play's author was, Casnoff, who describes himself as "very liberal, left-wing-leaning," thought, "Whoa, this is not the place for me to be."
That author, McAleer, is best known for his pro-fracking documentary FrackNation and other films that challenge "progressive" orthodoxies.
To write Ferguson, McAleer used verbatim transcripts from grand jury witness testimony into the 2014 shooting, which sparked riots and debates across America.
Asked by the LAT to comment on the actors' walkout, McAleer said:
"The truth is the truth. If it doesn't fit in with their beliefs, they need to change their beliefs. All the people who testified that [Brown] had his hands up [and was therefore surrendering to Wilson], it was pretty much demolished in grand jury testimony."
"The FERGUSON cast are walking out because I wouldn't change the script to attack the police and because of my "conservative" politics. It seems there is no room for diversity of opinion in the LA theatre scene."
Before the actors' walkout, McAleer talked to Lilley about the play (at 37:29 mark):
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