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‘Romeo & Juliet’ Production with Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers Targeted by Racial Abuse

Romeo & Juliet with Tom Holland Faces Racial Abuse

The Jamie Lloyd Company has vehemently responded to the recent wave of racial abuse targeting a member of its cast in the upcoming production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet.”

Directed by Jamie Lloyd, known for his work on “Sunset Boulevard,” the play features Tom Holland from “Spider-Man: No Way Home” as Romeo and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers from “Sex Education” as Juliet.

In a statement released on Friday, the Jamie Lloyd Company expressed its distress over the racial abuse aimed at the unidentified cast member.

 The company asserted, “Following the announcement of our ‘Romeo & Juliet’ cast, there has been a barrage of deplorable racial abuse online directed towards a member of our company. This must stop.”

Emphasizing the importance of a safe and supportive environment for its artists, the company declared its commitment to ensuring that its cast can create without fear of online harassment. 

It vowed to stand by and protect all members of its company, with a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of abuse, which will be promptly reported. 

The statement highlighted the need to eradicate bullying and harassment, both online and within the wider industry and community.

Despite the challenges, the rehearsal room for “Romeo & Juliet” remains a place of joy, compassion, and kindness, according to the company.

 It celebrates the exceptional talent of its collaborators and is determined to continue rehearsals with generosity and love, focusing on bringing the production to life.

“Romeo & Juliet” is scheduled to run at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre from May 23 to August 3, with tickets already sold out for the entire run.

The statement comes amidst broader discussions about racism in the entertainment industry. A 2021 survey titled “Race Between the Lines: Actors’ Experience of Race and Racism in Britain’s Audition and Casting Process and on Set” revealed alarming statistics, with 64% of respondents reporting racist stereotyping in auditions and 55% experiencing racist behaviour in the workplace.

Furthermore, tensions around racial representation in the theatre were recently highlighted when proposed “Black Out” performances of Jeremy O. Harris’ “Slave Play” in London’s West End faced criticism from U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office earlier this year.


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