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Artistic director exits stage right

by Jeremy Hooper

Scott Eckern has resigned from his post with California Musical Theatre:

CMT artistic director quits in fallout from Prop. 8 support [Sac Bee]

We have nothing else to say on the matter at this time.

**EARLIER: Prop 8 donations: Don't shoot the messenger! [G-A-Y]
Showtunes! Chorus boys! And...gay inequality?! [G-A-Y]

**UPDATE: Oh, actually we do have something to say to those who are criticizing gays for reacting to this or any public donation. We want to remind those folks that in the thick of the campaign, the official yes on 8 crew sent memos to companies who had donated to "no on 8" and threatened them. They told them that if the companies didn't withdraw their "No" support and give "yes" a donation of like amount, then they would publish the companies names: What companies would Jesus blackmail? [G-A-Y]

That is not what our side has done. Our side has caught wind of certain donations, brought them to light, and let public reaction play out as it will.

**UPDATE 2: The new social conservative meme is that we "forced" Mr. Eckern out. This is just convenient spin. We on the pro-gay side used our own right to highlight his donation and he, on his own will, decided to resign. He's not speaking so we don't know exactly what happened. We do know he has expressed remorse and pledged an equal donation to HRC, so there is indication that he has some sort of misgivings about his donation. Do for "yes on 8" to say he was "forced" is unfair to both the pro-gay side and Mr. Eckern.

But as per usual, "yes on 8" is more concerned with working their convenient spin than they are presenting a rational version of events. So since "gays are the intolerant ones" is how they are reacting to our right to reasoned, principled criticism, the idea that we are mean, bad job-ousters is their line on this issue.

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Your thoughts

Good, gee...consequences from your actions? What a shock.
Also, mailed Marriott Personal Boycott email...sent copy to HRC, perhaps they should alter their 100% Equality ratiing as the owners family gave over $25K to Yes on 8. Which is their right...but it is also my right not to appreciate it.

Posted by: LOrion | Nov 12, 2008 1:02:08 PM

The man has a LESBIAN sister whom he loves, and he still made his donation and his vote! If 25 years at CMT plus his sister and her partner didn't change his mind, I no longer believe his statement as published in Playbill:

"I have now had many conversations with friends and colleagues and I now have a better idea of what the discrimination issues are, how deeply felt these issues are and I am deeply saddened that my acting upon my religious convictions has been devastating to those I love and admire… I am deeply sorry for any harm or injury I have caused."

Wow. Somewhere along the way he closed his eyes very tightly and convinced himself that Prop 8 was not actually anti-gay, in spite of the facts. But to do that to the people in his life is unbelievable. He has seriously hurt the people he's worked with for so long, but was unable to see how that could happen. I'm pissed at him but I also really pity him.

Posted by: tjc | Nov 12, 2008 1:09:47 PM

Jeremy - I love you more and more for your quiet meaningful comments. I was listening to Derek & Romaine last night and they were discussing Marriott and there was an announcement from the President of Marriott speaking about the hotel being publicly held and whereby he said they were proud of their many gay employees and said neither he nor the hotel chain contributed to No on 8.....

Posted by: tom | Nov 12, 2008 1:10:23 PM

"Oh, actually we do have something to say to those who are criticizing gays for reacting to this or any public donation. We want to remind those folks that in the thick of the campaign, the official yes on 8 crew sent memos to companies who had donated to "no on 8" and threatened them."

I was wondering when you were going to bring that fact up.

Posted by: Alonzo | Nov 12, 2008 1:35:28 PM

Scott Eckern - good riddance.

Posted by: aaa | Nov 12, 2008 1:53:40 PM

I took a few moments to read some of the comments to the SactoBee article. Oh my my.

I think Scott was about as clueless an asshole as they come. He has a Lesbian sister and he has worked with and known dozens of Gays and Lesbians over the past 25 years, and he still donated $1,000 bucks to strip from them the right to marriage? He needs to move back to a cave in Utah.

Did we get him fired? I don't think so. It's our job to let our friends and neighbors know who donated money to Prop. 8. His position in the debate was exposed and he found it difficult to focus on his job, especially when Gays and Lesbians chose to have nothing to do with him. He came to realize that he would not be effective in his position, so he quit. I think he should have stayed around and worked to make it up to the community which he betrayed.

Posted by: Houston | Nov 12, 2008 2:10:29 PM

Whenever people are bothered for the way they voted they always reply with "its my right to vote how I want!" and some other words about the democratic process. I agree with that. I don't think they should be stopped for voting. Same thing with free speech. Please, say what you want. But don't complain when there are consequences. People can take any position they want but they'd better be willing to face the consequences. I was fired from a job I loved because I was gay. It hurt like hell and i'm still a bit pissed over it but this is an issue I'm willing to stand on, reguardless of the consequences.

I wish the rest of the pansies on both sides would sack up.

Posted by: Pomo | Nov 12, 2008 2:32:46 PM

So when is this guy going to go into "persecuted martyr" mode?

Posted by: Scott | Nov 12, 2008 3:39:38 PM

I'm all for going through the list of donors, contacting people we know, and calling them on their bigotry.

I'm all for boycotting businesses that made *business* contributions (and there are a number that will never see me darken their doorway again--no more Leatherby's ice cream).

But don't lose sight of the necessity of changing people's minds rather than "getting even." And just because the Yes on 8 folks did it doesn't make it right. Are we to stoop to their level?

BTW, I'm an out lesbian and a theater critic for the Sacramento News & Review. This boycott will hurt not just Scott Eckern, but a whole boatload of artists, gay and straight, not to mention disrupting an opportunity to reach out and change people's minds on a one-to-one basis.

Kel Munger
Sacramento News & Review
[email protected]

Posted by: Kel Munger | Nov 12, 2008 4:49:59 PM

Just so you know, the protest held today in front of CMT (formerly Music Circus Theater) here in Sacramento, portrayed as a spontaneous outpouring of support by the community for Eckern was, in fact, Eckern’s own Citrus Heights/ Orangevale “Ward” of the LDS church. Note that there are only white faces in the crowd (The old Mormon adage holds true: “If you’re white, you’re welcome”). Sacramentans are not protesting in support of Eckern.

Like any athlete, entertainer or executive - Eckern had a fiduciary responsibility and contractual obligation to NOT HARM the reputation of the institution that hired him. He failed. If he hadn’t resigned, he should have been fired. But he did resign. And now the Yes on 8 folks are feigning violation.

What is less discussed is the issue of why the Mormons are so involved with promoting “traditional marriage.” This is no mystery, just as it’s no mystery why the Catholic church became such an active supporter of Megan’s laws around the country.

The Mormon church has sought to scapegoat the LGBT community in their marketing endeavor. They wish tp portray themselves as the “protectors of traditional marriage” why? Because up until this election, they were accurately viewed as the “practicers of polygamist marriage.” Their $40 million was money well spent.

The problem for the LGBT community at this point is, how do we not play their game? The more we speak of them, the more the public learns of their involvement and the more the public’s opinion about their cult transforms into a positive view of them as a legitimate church. Let’s not give them what they want.

We must, at every turn, remind voters of who the REAL Mormons are, if we really want to affect them. Mormons are, by description of their beliefs (and this is fact not hatred), subjugators of women (sexists), pedophiles, rapists, polygamists and racists. They technically abandoned the practice of polygamy in order to gain statehood for Utah, but that doesn't mean they don't believe in it. I will do my part to remind people who they are by giving just this one example from the international herald:

Investigator in Texas polygamy sect case says under-age girls were impregnated in Mormon Cult By John Dougherty and John Holusha - encourage everyone to arm themselves with knowledge about the churches who attacked us. They've made the issue about us, but they're the ones who are "unclean."

Posted by: MormonCultLover | Nov 13, 2008 2:52:14 AM

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