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July 19
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[KHTS] – An altercation took place during Saturday’s show at the REP Theatre in Newhall after an audience member yelled “fag” twice during key scenes in the two-act performance, said Valencia resident John Lacy, who portrayed Big Daddy in the play.

santa-clarita-actor-fired-show-cancelled-after-gay-slursLacy’s character was about to deliver an important monologue to the character of Brick, played by Anton Troy, when the audience member yelled the slur in response to a question Lacy’s character asked Troy’s.

“The second time, I wasn’t going to stand for it anymore,” Lacy said. “He was so loud and so invasive to our performance.”

Lacy walked off to the side of the stage and said, “Who said that?” according to Tim Sullivan, who was in the audience. The person who made the slurs then stood up and said, “I did.”

“I gave him a little shove to let him know I was there,” Lacy said, “and because of the alcohol, he went down pretty easily.”

Sullivan, who was sitting nearby, grabbed the man who was on the floor and ushered him into the lobby, Lacy said.

The actors restarted from the interruption and continued the show, Lacy said.

“As an audience member and a gay audience member, I’ve been to a lot of theater and I’ve never experienced something where the thematics of the story, homophobia and hate, that were depicted on stage, were depicted in the audience,” Sullivan said, referencing the “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” storyline.

“When the play ended, that audience stood on its feet and cheered Anton and John more than they would any other night,” he said.

After a wrap party with the cast and crew, Ovington M. Owston fired Lacy, according to the actor.

The following day, Troy said he resigned in a show of solidarity, as did another actor in the show named Anthony Bietel.

“We are committed to provide groundbreaking subject matter and professional performances to our audiences,” said Ovington Michael Owston, executive director of the REP. “We are extremely sorry that our patrons experienced this disruption and will do our best to make it up to those holding reservations for cancelled performances.”

No further comment would be made by Owston at the direction of the theater’s board of directors and legal counsel, he said.

The next show in the REP’s 2014 season, “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” is in pre-production and is scheduled to open July 11.

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73 Comments

  1. I love how those that preach tolerance get physical when someone says something they don’t like.

  2. I love how those that preach tolerance get physical when someone says something they don’t like.

    • Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

      If someone called your wife randomly a whore while you are there for no reason you would…

      •A – Tolerate it
      •B – Freedom of speech…he has that right…lets run away
      •C – Put him on his butt

      If anything is not “C”, you will also be doing…

      •D – getting a divorce.

    • And you’re talking about how many people? I thought this was about one man. Tolerant much? Not. Wanker

    • Another example. I don’t share a view of yours… And now I’m labeled.

      I think I’m going to go get a bunch of laws passed that make people acknowledge and support not only my point of view, but my lifestyle as well…

      Oh – wait – that’s already been done.

      damn it.

  3. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    Say the N word to someone,
    Anthony.
    See if it is considered starting a fight.
    Bet it is.
    LoL

  4. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    Say the N word to someone,
    Anthony.
    See if it is considered starting a fight.
    Bet it is.
    LoL

  5. Kyle James Kyle James says:

    Who was preaching tolerance? They were performing a scene. Sometimes drunk ass holes need to hit the dirt once in a while.

  6. Kyle James Kyle James says:

    Who was preaching tolerance? They were performing a scene. Sometimes drunk ass holes need to hit the dirt once in a while.

  7. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    You tolerate noises and smells.
    Not People.

  8. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    You tolerate noises and smells.
    Not People.

  9. He should have gotten the theater or produces involved first and had the heckler removed.

  10. He should have gotten the theater or produces involved first and had the heckler removed.

  11. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    No one was preaching anything.
    LoL

  12. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    No one was preaching anything.
    LoL

  13. Chris Hulse Chris Hulse says:

    That’s battery, first amendment gives everyone the right to speak, it does not allow you to strike the person. Glad you were fired for just that reason.

    • Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

      You have no clue what that means. You can’t yell fire in a theater. Nothing is free. That’s about the government not taking away rights. This is why those who speak on the first amendment are amazing wrong 99% of the time.

      I agree he shouldn’t have done that but again, for every action is a reaction. I applaud him and wish he would’ve slapped the sh¶t out of him.

    • Chris Hulse Chris Hulse says:

      He should be in jail, but why don’t you slap him then you can join him.

    • Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

      I wasn’t there or I would have. If you got in the way and defended him, you’d catch it too. I’m all about tolerance but I, like Mandela understands that violence works too.

      You seem butthurt.

    • Chris Hulse Chris Hulse says:

      Nope not at all just speaking the truth, oh and the law, remember what that is right. It’s ok I’ll pray for you.

    • Chris Hulse Chris Hulse says:

      And again I’m not saying the person that used the speech should have said it, what I’m saying is that you fail to understand we all have rights. He got fired for a reason, battery.

    • Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

      He did and he did for the RIGHT reasons. Getting fired happens all the time. To see a man stand up and not allow a coward to run the show, shows the persons makeup.

      We all pay for things but to pay for the right reasons is a much lower cost.

    • Chris Hulse Chris Hulse says:

      He should have said. (The show must go on) and continued, instead he lowered himself to a level he should not have thus, breaking the law, this is what I’m saying, it’s that simple. Don’t read into it it’s just that. He lowered himself and got fired.

    • Chris Hulse – free speech only applies when you support their ‘agenda’…if you don’t – then you’re a bigot participating in hate speech.

    • Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

      Sometimes the show CAN’T go on. When the show is being disrupted by a homophobic drunk. Security did nothing so an employee (him) did.

      If you have issue with this, fine… that’s on you. I applaud it. If someone called my lady a whore out of the blue I’d say “what?” If he did it again, I’m not cowering. I’m slumping him. We all have our ways.

      I don’t think you go there first but it depends and actually, he got fired from a play in Santa Clarita. Far from the end of the world and in a world of parents crying about bullying, y’all love to run away from it as adults.

      How I was raised, you beat the bully.

    • Sophie Sidky Sophie Sidky says:

      Free speech only protects you from the government, actually. That’s it. No one else.

      http://xkcd.com/1357/

  14. Chris Hulse Chris Hulse says:

    That’s battery, first amendment gives everyone the right to speak, it does not allow you to strike the person. Glad you were fired for just that reason.

  15. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    They should have involved themselves.
    If it was the N word, the audience would have even gotten involved.

  16. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    They should have involved themselves.
    If it was the N word, the audience would have even gotten involved.

  17. Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

    They are doing their job and to throw something their way trying to do in anonymity is typical like a response on these posts justifying said actions.

    If you didn’t like the play, leave. If you call me the N word, I’m beating your ass.

    Yes for every action is a reaction.

  18. Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

    They are doing their job and to throw something their way trying to do in anonymity is typical like a response on these posts justifying said actions.

    If you didn’t like the play, leave. If you call me the N word, I’m beating your ass.

    Yes for every action is a reaction.

  19. Glad this post gave more details.

  20. Glad this post gave more details.

  21. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    Chris.
    Say the N word Roto someone.
    See what happens.
    Then see if you get blamed for the sequence of events.

  22. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    Chris.
    Say the N word Roto someone.
    See what happens.
    Then see if you get blamed for the sequence of events.

  23. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    You either for equality.
    Or against it
    Period

  24. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    Some coward blocked me before posting a comment
    If someone mentions me by name and I do not respond.
    It is that person

  25. Kim Sloan Kim Sloan says:

    There must not be security at these shows. I’m not going to attend if idiots can come in drunk, make rude outbursts and not get kicked out! The actor was out of line but I suppose he was filling in for the absent security guard. Where does the licensing of this establishment allow drunk patrons to disturb the show? Shame on rep.theater!!!!!!!

  26. Kim they have a bar at the theatre and honestly I am surprised this was allowed to escalate as far as it did. I used to work at that theatre when I lived out there and never had a problem like that. Sad that people can’t just go to enjoy a performance anymore.

  27. I’m glad john lacy stood up for himself and others.

  28. SHAME on the heckler and SHAME on the manager who fired Lacy.

  29. Bear says:

    As an actor you must realize you might get hecked from time to time and you need to grow some thick skin.
    I personally would be fearful if an actor left the stage to fight a guest in the audience. Do rock stars come off the stage to fight someone that boo’s them? I doubt it. The legality of such actions are very real for both the offending actor and the theater owners as well.
    I guess what makes this senseless act of aggression more disappointing is that all the other actors are now out of work because the show has been canceled.
    I attended the play last weekend and I though it was a good cast and a interesting rendition of “cat on a hot tin roof”. I am sad that others will not get to see it.

  30. So sad that these things happen. If you’re a hater you believe that you have the “Freedom of Speech” to express your hate. If you’re “tolerant” you believe you have the right to “fight” for those that you are “tolerant” of. If we all just RESPECTED one another these things would not happen at all.

  31. Gregory Kaye Gregory Kaye says:

    I could chime in with a vey negative comment
    but it would not serve a purpose, just a lot of hard work gone to waste. To bad.

  32. Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

    Here is the “official” comment. Amazing that what they didn’t tolerate, they did nothing about.

    http://www.repeastplayhouse.org/cat.html

  33. Leaf Larsen Leaf Larsen says:

    16 comments that each coward blocked me from seeing.
    LoL
    Ijs

  34. Ckay Walker Ckay Walker says:

    Compassion. Humility. Humanity. Please.

  35. I think the heckler should have been removed before the altercation occured. You can’t blame the actor for reacting!

  36. It was just a drunk heckler who was rightfully shoved, no real harm done or reason for firing someone.

  37. Left Wing says:

    Ignorance, intolerance, and stupidity aside,the Editor of this news story should be fired and forced to work at Wal-Mart. This is some of the crappiest journalism I have ever had the displeasure of reading.

  38. They weren’t fired because of assault and battery, the theater did it to protect themselves. They don’t want to be held liable in addition to not doing anything about it. If you think for one second this person doesn’t have the right to react, you should look within yourself and ask if you’re defending the heckler because you have your own issues with the LGBT community. Don’t hide behind the ammendments.

  39. They shouldn’t show up to a show at a Playhouse if they do not have tolerance for the gay community. That is like going to San Francisco or West Hollywood and getting upset at the gay community there. Ignorance towards others seems to run wild recently.

  40. Anthony Fierro we have no idea how many times that person had let it go in the past. Maybe it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. If someone called you a racial slur and you snapped, no one would blame you. I agree he should not have used force, but I can’t judge him either. The proper action would have been to have security escort the drunk out.

    • Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

      Like button big time. I’m not gay. I’m not caring about that “community.” I am all for humans being treated fairly and if someone decided to attack, I have no issue with a shove being the response.

      We cry so much about bullying. “We need to stop that…” Well this stopped that at least there.

  41. Disdier says:

    so now it’s ok to strike someone because of their words? Gee it’s funny how we think Islam is insane because someone says something about Muhammad. Now the gay community believes that it’s status is to be so revered that it must seek out those who heckle it and physically assault them.
    Either you believe in equality or not. Equality has nothing to do with it. It’s simply about and idiot being attacked by a gay zealot. And dale if a shove is not an assault then why are men being charged with assault when they shove a woman.( both are assault)

  42. It’s also different for actors, I’m not saying what he did was right, however standing on a stage under stage lights where it is 90+ degrees, being 100% in the moment to have some jerk off break out with a racial slur, it is not easy to get back into the moment. It may be a tiny little theatre but those actors put their hearts and souls into every performance, and to have some drunken jerk break your moment is not ok!

  43. Very true. Dobie Gillis very true. Sometimes we need to let people know we will not just stand and listen. Sometimes we may react.

  44. MacroView says:

    “Homophobic” is a term referring to a fear of homosexuality or of a homosexual, denoting a weakness and failure on the part of the homophobe. You CAN disagree with someone’s point of view without being afraid of them or afraid of their point of view. It is an agenda to label everyone who does not agree with homosexuality as a mean, fearful “homophobe”– or even a “hater” for that part. Please stop hijacking the lexicon for your personal agendas. Let’s deal with truth and be grown-ups about it. Otherwise we can never be reasonable and come to terms with our differences.

  45. Rob Gardner says:

    What a shame. No one is innocent here. This could have been handled many other ways. Unfortunately the actor felt he had to cross the line and resort to violence. I’m one who believes that sometimes idiots need to just be taught a lesson, but you have to also take the consequences for those actions. If the actor can walk away feeling he did the right thing and ok with the consequences, then … moving on!

  46. Clarice says:

    Lets get off the “tolerant wagon” for a minute. If anyone should be fired it was security. No one wants to sit it a theater or anywhere with a loud mouth drunk. Today people don’t have the courage to get up and tell security, “I paid for this ticket. Get this drunk out of here!” Good for the cast!

  47. Yes, shame on the heckler…if he is a business owner he may be forced to sell.

  48. I tolerate homophobes as much as they tolerate me. Not at all. Come say fag to my face and see what happens. :)

  49. Wendi says:

    If every actor/comedian/live performer jumped off stage and into the audience to slap/shove/hit/push a heckler/rude audience member, regardless of whether or not they “deserved it”, there would be a lot of police reports/lawsuits happening. It is a battery, and the heckler may have deserved a good shove, but it should have been management/security to give to him.

  50. He needs one of these!

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