Scott Eckern/Artistic Director, California Musical Theatre/Citrus Heights, CA/ $1,000Eckern, as this indicates, donated $1,000 to support the passage of California's Proposition 8, which wrote the definition of marriage into the state's constitution. But what are blacklists for, anyway? Here is the Sacramento Bee on what then happened to Eckern:
Eckern's removal was apparently the result of the blacklist now being used by opponents of Proposition 8:
The California Musical Theatre found itself caught in a dramatic conflict between free speech and civil rights, a situation that ultimately led to today's resignation of artistic director Scott Eckern.
Eckern quit this morning. He became the target of strong criticism after it was learned he donated $1,000 to the Proposition 8 campaign to ban gay marriage.
When Tony Award-winner Marc Shaiman, the composer of "Hairspray," read of Eckern's donation last week, he urged artists and theater workers across the country to boycott the theater.Eckern is not without supporters, and they too are now recognizing the new level of intolerance being embraced by gay rights groups in the wake of their surprising defeat in California:
...The idea of a blacklist and boycott have grown from Shaiman's postings and e-mails. The composer, who is openly gay, said he read about Eckern's contribution to the campaign on the Web site www.datalounge.com, and he felt he had to do something.
On Tuesday, Kellie Randle and a group of like-minded friends launched www.supportscotteckern.blogspot.com to advocate for Eckern.
"It's everyone's First Amendment right to contribute to the causes they believe in and voice their political choice," Randle said. To show the abuse against Eckern, Randle's site links to the Clyde Fitch Report, one of numerous blogs now weighing in on the debate.
"I'm so enraged at the hypocrisy of the No on 8 community. I could care less how he voted on any issue. It's about what he does in his job. This is persecution," Randle said.
Other community members, including Kitty Wilson of Curtis Park, echoed this sentiment.
"Before any gay person talks about blacklisting anyone in theater, I'll remind them what McCarthy's blacklist did to the entire entertainment industry," Wilson said.
The good news is it looks like there are still a few people willing to stand up for what is right.