Broadway On Demand, the newly-launched streaming platform for theater fans, has postponed its Tony Awards celebration event that was scheduled for this Sunday (June 7).
The postponement is linked to the ongoing protests and unrest in the wake of the death last week of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
The postponement was made Monday morning (June 1) by Seam Cercone, the organization’s CEO/president. “We are collectively saddened and angered by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and disheartened by the ongoing racism and injustices that continue to permeate our society. We at Broadway On Demand do not tolerate hate, racism, injustice or bigotry of any kind. The continued violence against Black Americans is inexcusable. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” Cercone said in a statement.
“This is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history and our priorities at this time are to listen, to engage in meaningful dialogue and to do our best to enact real change in our industry and in our nation. We truly believe theater has the power to educate, inspire, develop empathy, bridge cultural divides and ultimately unite under the banner of humanity.
“Broadway On Demand recognizes that we have the power to influence and change the world through art. Our goal as an organization is to create a platform where underrepresented voices can be amplified and uplifted. That is why it is of the utmost importance that the programs we deliver adhere to these beliefs and reflect the world in which we live.”
Broadway On Demand says its Tony Awards celebration event will be rescheduled.
The event was meant to be a substitute of sorts for the 74th Annual Tony Awards, which were originally scheduled to air on that date. The Tonys were postponed on March 25 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced an abrupt halt to the Broadway season.
There has been no announcement from the Tony Awards themselves of what they plan to do about this year’s show.
This announcement has led the Tony Awards site since it was first posted on March 25: “The 74th Annual Tony Awards, scheduled to air live on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 7th from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date, in coordination with our broadcast partner. The health and safety of the Broadway community, artists and fans are of the utmost importance to us. We will announce new dates and additional information once Broadway opens again. We are looking forward to celebrating Broadway and our industry when it is safe to do so.”