According to Variety, Mandy Patinkin has dropped out of the Broadway show Natasha, Pierre And The Great Comet Of 1812 just days after joining the cast. Patinkin was brought in to replace Hamilton actor Okieriete Onaodowan, but it sounds like Onaodowan’s time on the show was actually purposefully cut short by the producers so they could make room for Patinkin, who happens to be a bigger name and—as many critics of the move have been quick to point out—a white guy. As the Variety story puts it, some people saw this as “an expression of disrespect for an African-American actor in favor of a white actor.”
After hearing about all of this, Patinkin decided to drop out of the show entirely and shared his thoughts on the matter on Twitter:
The idea to cast Patinkin in the first place came as ticket sales for The Great Comet have been plummeting after the loss of previous big-name stars like Josh Groban and Ingrid Michaelson, so now it’s even a significantly worse spot than it was before.