In response Lino issued the following response and shared it on Facebook:
I received your e-mail, and am sorry that you were offended by the kissing scene.
We did not include the scene in the content advisory for two reasons:
1. It is indeed a major plot revelation in a murder mystery that relies entirely on plot twists for suspense, revealing the motive for the murder that has just occurred; to include it would have revealed a plot point that would have spoiled the show for patrons.
2. I did not think it rose to the level of requiring an advisory. You describe the content as “edgy,” and there are indeed times we do produce edgier material (this year’s Other Desert Cities or last season’s Clybourne Park come to mind, for which I believe we go to great pains to provide content advisories), but in this day and age I hardly think Deathtrap, a forty year old play, or a brief kiss by two men (there is no other sexual activity of any kind in the play) qualifies as edgy.
I have to ask, and I do so in all sincerity: In putting on Deathtrap, we are “play acting,” and in this particular play we show two characters carrying out a cold-blooded murder, and then we show them kissing as the motivation for the murder. You object to the kissing, but not to the fact that they’re murderers? You are comfortable with your son witnessing an enacted murder, but not a same sex kiss? In both cases, it’s just make-believe, but how is a play that depicts murder, whether it’s a contemporary murder-mystery like Deathtrap or an immortal tragedy like Macbeth, morally acceptable while the depiction of a fairly innocuous, albeit same-sex kiss, is totally unacceptable? The script doesn’t ask you to condone either the murder or the kiss; despite what you imply, we’re not promoting a homosexual agenda in producing Deathtrap; if anything, since the two characters who kiss are the villains of the piece, the kiss becomes part of their villainy, and both characters get their comeuppance in the second act.
Based on your letter, I anticipate that I might receive several more on this subject. (I half expect to get other letters of complaint from other patrons who accuse the play of “gay bashing” by revealing the character’s murderous impulses to be a function of their homosexuality—I’ve learned in twenty-three years that there’s nothing we can do that won’t offend somebody). Even if that happens—even if I get twenty letters– the vast majority of our patrons will enjoy the show and regard the kissing “reveal” as a shocking but satisfying plot twist. In that circumstance—if the majority of our patrons don’t feel “betrayed” by our not mentioning the kiss—I would not tell you you’re wrong to be offended, but I would ask you to consider who we’re writing the advisories for: the 80-90% of our patrons who aren’t offended by the element in question, or the 10-20% who are?
In any event, I don’t expect to persuade you to my point of view, even if I don’t understand yours. Clearly, for you, the depiction of a same sex kiss is offensive—you use the word “repulsive”– and you are right that we did not warn you that that would be in the play.
On that basis, I will be glad to refund you the price of your tickets to Deathtrap and will instruct my Patron Services Manager to process a refund.
I will not refund your tickets for Sweet Charity. You are free to use them yourself, give them away, or return them to the theatre for a tax deductible donation.
It sounds as if you have been unhappy with many of our productions, since you write that you’ve wasted many tickets over the past few seasons by not attending plays that you describe as offensive and vulgar, and it sounds as though you wish to discontinue your association with the theatre.
On your instructions, I will advise our marketing and box office staffs to place a “Do Not Contact” note on your records, and will release your season tickets for sale for next season. I always hate to lose a patron, but it is, I’ve found, better to lose a patron than risk betraying her trust and offending her repeatedly, something we have apparently done in your case.
Prior to receiving the patron’s letter, the theater company had received only two or three similar complaints. At the time of his post’s writing, Lino’s Facebook post with the letter and his response has 1,068 likes, 265 shares and 346 comments (most of them in support of Lino’s reply).
(via The Bilerico Project)