Frozen actor receives outpouring of love after ‘racist’ audience members storm out of play
An actor in the West End Frozen musical gracefully called out a group of racist audience members who walked out of the show because of his casting.
Obioma Ugoala, a Nigerian-Irish actor who plays Kristoff in the Disney musical, called out “four audience members in their fifties who left the show, bemoaning my casting as ‘woke culture silliness'”.
Sharing his anger in a Twitter thread, titled #RepresentationMatters, the Frozen star began by explaining how playing Kristoff was the “stuff of dreams for this little brown boy”.
Addressing the audience members who stormed out of the show, running in London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, he continued: “I feel sorry for you that this Nigerian-Irish Londoner selling ice with a reindeer as a BFF in a fictional land is a step too far for you.
“I am sorry that in a world of Ice Queens and magic strikes, this ‘d*****’ as you referred to me was outside of your imagination.”
My Afro hair and melanated skin beyond the scope of what you could fathom.
But, sirs and madams, night after night, I see hundreds of children watch our talented cast of all hues and colours and escape into a magical world for two hours.
I wish you had their eyes.
— Obioma Ugoala (@ObiomaUgoala) March 23, 2022
Ugoala continued: “Perhaps you presumed you were safe to speak of me that way, not feeling you’d be overheard.
The actor stated that his experience paled in comparison with the feeling of watching “hundreds of children… escape into a magical world for two hours” every night.
“I wish you had their eyes,” the actor said, adding that the “world is changing”.
He concluded: “I am glad a new generation will watch our show and feel invited to dream of bigger, better and brighter. I am glad they will dream kindly and imagine worlds where we are all included.”
Fans quickly sent Obioma Ugoala an outpouring of love, sharing their anger on his behalf.
You’re the reason why I keep coming to see you perform. You are the reason why you make children of colour believe in themselves and that they can live their dreams on West End. You’re truly the star of the show and you deserve that role. https://t.co/yCfM5JBAlQ
— Demita (@Demita_H) March 24, 2022
You are loved and respected and admired by so many. I feel so sorry that you had to experience that level of abject narrow-mindedness. Please receive my love tonight sir x
— Dan Ryan (@_DanielRyan) March 23, 2022
oh obi, i am so sorry. i am proud of you for being strong and so clearly articulating their racism but wish you didn’t have to and could simply enjoy the extraordinary accomplishments you’ve made.
— Daniellé DASH (@DanielleDASH) March 23, 2022
I loved you in this show, sorry you have had to experience this – as you say tomorrow you will get to perform to a bunch of fresh faces (especially the young people) who see themselves represented on stage. Keep up the good work!
— David Whitney 🌈 (@davidwhitney90) March 23, 2022
Ugoala trained at London’s Drama Centre and has acted in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Henry V and The Mouse and his Child.
He’s also the author of the upcoming book The Problem With My Normal Penis, which confronts prejudices and stereotypes around race, sex and masculinity which impact Black men.
PinkNews sought contact from LW Theatres, which owns Theatre Royal Drury Lane.