Audra McDonald made an appearance on CBS This Morning to share more about Black Theatre United, the coalition she co-founded with several fellow Broadway mainstays in response to the killing of George Floyd and the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The theatre community comes together to raise awareness for lots of issues…but when the George Floyd murder happened, it felt a little too silent from the theatre community, and a lot of us were very aware of that,” the six-time Tony winner tells Gayle King in the video below. “So we got together with a bunch of our friends…let’s bring our community together and start to raise awareness and work on the micro issue of systemic racism within the theatre community, and then the macro issue of systemic racism within our country.”
Many of BTU’s initial events and campaigns have centered on the importance of census completion, ensuring that underrepresented communities often considered as “hard-to-count” groups are properly accounted for, leading to appropriately allocated federal funds. “This is a moment where it’s all staring us in the face, and it’s a moment we need to take advantage of and make substantive change,” McDonald says.
Prior to the coronavirus-caused shutdown, McDonald filmed the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect. In addition to discussing BTU, the artist and activist offered a first look at her as Franklin’s mother Barbara.