Woody Allen Says He Didn’t Want Any “Black Gangsters” For His Cotton Club Broadway Play
Accused child molester Woody Allen may have to add another unfortunate stigma to his name of “alleged racist” after a report is claiming he dismissed the notion of having any “Black gangsters” for his new play adaptation of one his previous films.
Bullets Over Broadway opens today at the St. James Theatre and although the 1994 film of the same name wasn’t exactly an African-American affair, the reasoning for the white cast in the play is reportedly because Allen specifically requested that way.
A source tells Confidenti@l that’s because Allen specifically requested there be no black gangsters in his musical, though it isn’t clear why Allen chose that route.
“Everyone’s white at Woody’s Cotton Club and in the gangster numbers,” says our well-placed Broadway insider. “Casting was considering a big-name African-American actor for the play, but Woody passed because he just got the idea that a black gangster wouldn’t be good. One man wasn’t asked back and then was told it was Woody who didn’t want any black gangsters.”
Our source adds that the casting team told Allen a scene re-creating the iconic Harlem club, which was popular with black clubgoers, should actually feature some.
A rep for Allen tells us:
“Your item is completely untrue. It has always been Woody Allen’s priority to cast the exact appropriate person for a role regardless of race, which has never been a consideration. Not certain what you mean by ‘preshows,’ but we can confirm that no African-American actor had been previously hired for the Broadway production of ‘Bullets Over Broadway.’ ”
The only Black performer is Kelcy Griffin, who appears in a dance segment.
On the real, though. It’s not hard to spot the jig in a play set in Harlem without many Black people.