Ben Platt is addressing the situation that occurred during the first preview performance of the Broadway revival of Parade.
On Tuesday night (February 21), anti-Semitic protestors gathered outside of the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City.
“You want the truth about who you’re going to see tonight? You’re paying $300 to go f–king worship a pedophile, you might as well know what you’re talking about,” one protestor yelled, as seen in a video shared on Twitter.
Another is heard saying, “Romanticizing pedophiles, wow, Leo Frank,” referring to the musical’s main character, who is played by Ben, 29.
After the show, Ben took to social media to address the situation.
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In the video shared to Instagram, Ben started off by saying that the show was so “wonderful and special” before acknowledging his co-stars and the creative team involved in Parade.
He then went on to address the protestors, saying, “Then I got offstage and was looking at social media, and naturally the news of the fact that there were some protesters at our show has spread a lot, and that has kind of [been] the stamp on the evening, in terms of the public perception of the evening.”
He added, “For those who don’t know, there were a few neo-Nazi protesters from a really disgusting group outside of the theater, bothering some of our patrons on their way in and saying antisemitic things about Leo Frank, who the show is about, and just spreading antisemitic rhetoric that led to this whole story in the first place.”
“If you don’t know about it, I encourage you to look up the story and most importantly encourage you to come see the show,” Ben continued. “And it was definitely very ugly and scary but a wonderful reminder of why we’re telling this particular story and how special and powerful art and, particularly, theater can be. And just made me feel extra, extra grateful to be the one who gets to tell this particular story and to carry on this legacy of Leo.”
Ben concluded his message by thanking those working at the theater who kept the audience, cast, and crew “super safe and secure,” adding, “Now is really the moment for this particular piece.”
The producers of Parade also issued a statement regarding the situation.
“If there is any remaining doubt out there about the urgency of telling this story in this moment in history, the vileness on display tonight should put it to rest,” the producers shared with People.
Parade officially opens on March 16. The limited engagement will close on August 6. You can find out more about the show here.