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California Musical Theatre Director Scott Eckern Steps Down

Following revelations of artistic director Scott Eckern's contribution to the campaign to pass Proposition 8 in California and the subsequent announcement from Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman that he would be boycotting any future productions at Sacramento's California Musical Theatre, Eckern has announced he is stepping down. If you work in musical theater, it's not good business to piss off your base.

EckernSaid Eckern: “I am leaving California Musical Theatre after prayerful consideration to protect the organization and to help the healing in the local theatre-going and creative community. I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most.”

Continued Eckern: "I understand that my choice of supporting Proposition 8 has been the cause of many hurt feelings, maybe even betrayal. It was not my intent. I honestly had no idea that this would be the reaction. I chose to act upon my belief that the traditional definition of marriage should be preserved. I support each individual to have rights and access and I understood that in California domestic partnerships come with the same rights that come with marriage. My sister is a lesbian and in a committed domestic partnership relationship. I am loving and supportive of her and her family, and she is loving and supportive of me and my family."

Eckern had been with the company for 25 years.

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  1. Haul Ass!!!!

    Posted by: NappyheadedHo | Nov 13, 2008 11:55:51 AM

  2. Know their names and shame them publicly

    Posted by: chasmader | Nov 13, 2008 1:00:00 PM

  3. I think cooler heads need to prevail. I was as angry as anyone and just as quick to call for his head, but I think we have gained nothing with his resignation. He made a mistake, as we all have. The public image we have presented in the last few days has made me squirm. Our actions have made us out to be petty and vindication. Yes, we have been hurt, yes it is unjust, but hounding people out of their life's work for one mistake is not our way.

    I have seen no evidence that he has ever been anything but supportive of the gay community with the exception of this instance. One lapse in judgment does not make a bigot. We have an opportunity to show people the gay community is about love, compassion and forgiveness.

    I think we should ask him to reconsider his resignation. We have everything to gain by this and nothing to lose.

    Posted by: loki7329 | Nov 13, 2008 2:06:43 PM

  4. LOKI7329:

    I have one word: NO!

    This man knew what he was voting for. This man knew his sister was a lesbian. This man knew he was voting his "convictions" also knowing that they discriminated against another human being. It is obvious that Mr. Eckern voted his conservative religious views and against equal rights. With friends like that, who needs enemies. Good riddance.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | Nov 13, 2008 3:26:51 PM

  5. It could only have ended better had his hypocrital ass been fired instead of stepping down.

    Take a look at CMT's last 5 seasons. With a few stand-out exceptions, one could hardly call this guy innovative, which should be the first calling of an "artistic director" I mean, I like "The Plaids" as much as the next guy, but "artisic", nuh, uh.

    It was only a matter of time before he rewrote and mounted the first Christian production of "Fiddler".

    Posted by: John | Nov 13, 2008 11:24:20 PM

  6. Look, I'm not some New Age junkie pedaling turn the other cheek crap. I'm about as ruthless and determined a sonovabitch as you'll ever meet and I could honestly care less about his career. The point is, this is not the way to win. Pushing him out is a tactical and public relations mistake. It might make us feel good in the short term, but believe me, there are no long term gains.

    The Yes on 8 people won because they ran a better, more disciplined campaign. They also paid attention to what we were doing. Gay people are most effective when we are nice and demostrate that we are like everyone else. Why do you think the our most effective icons are Ellen Degeneres and Will & Grace? The Yes campaign took pains to steer clear of anything that smacked of a direct attack on gay people. This provided voters with cover to vote yes without feeling like bigots or gay bashers.

    By using boycotts and black lists to out and intimidate individual people, we are playing into their hands. We lose our higher morality and appear like extremist.

    Instead, if we embrace people like Scott Eckern, we score public relation points. We look forgiving and tolerant. We regain the higher ground.

    But hey, if you want to lose, keep right on doing what you're doing.

    Posted by: Loki7329 | Nov 14, 2008 11:50:11 PM

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