Put BIPOC Critics in New York Times's Permanent Theater/Culture Staff

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For many years, The New York Times has failed to add BIPOC theater critics to its staff. Works by BIPOC artists have been subjected to the white critical gaze that often fails to bring even a cursory understanding of the experiences that inform the works of BIPOC artists. As a result, any attempt to stray from white-centered narratives are either labeled as "radical," or dismissed as amateur attempts by yet unformed aesthetic practices. This critical gaslighting of BIPOC artists has shaped the choices of many theaters and institutions only too eager to please the tastes of The Times's critics. Many works by BIPOC theater artists have been prematurely killed by biased and racially insensitive reviews from white critics.

The New York Times must have its own critical awakening. We live in a city where BIPOC artists have been working even before the Times first ran its presses. Its stubborn insistence in maintaining a roster of white critics denies BIPOC artists the right to be carefully considered and understood. 

We are asking the New York Times to publicly address this petition, and to state that steps they will take to bring BIPOC perspectives to their theater criticism.