wait what happened to oak hows he been treated
oak joined the cast of the great comet 2 weeks ago, and today it was announced that his run in the show - which was already very limited - was being cut in half so that mandy patinkin, an established white actor on broadway, could replace him. to “boost ticket sales.” so, instead of being in the great comet for about 2 months or so like originally planned, his time in the show was reduced to almost exactly one month.
rafael casal, one of oak’s friends, started going on a twitter rant about how they basically used oak’s fame from hamilton to hype themselves up more. in addition, he made points about how oak learned two instruments for the role of pierre, was in multiple musicals and tv shows, and was unanimously critically acclaimed by pierre, only for his time in the show to be cut in half after he had only been there for two weeks.
when the great comet producers published a statement saying that oak “agreed” to ‘make room’ for mandy patinkin, rafael replied by saying that it’s meant to sound like oak stepping down was voluntary, which, according to him, it wasn’t. (this somewhat implies that if oak hadn’t agreed to ‘make room’ for mandy, then he would have been fired.)
he also brought to light the fact that oak’s start date getting pushed back was not due to him needing more time to rehearse, which was previously thought by most people. and, in addition to rafael, many other actors - including ariana debose and cynthia erivo - began to express their opinions about what had happened after rafael’s initial rant as well.
rafael also started the hashtag #makeroomforoak, which is taken from the great comet producers saying that oak agreed to “make room” for mandy to take over as pierre. right now it’s being used for people to talk about their appreciation for oak, as well as bringing to light that people need to ‘make room’ for oak and other actors of color, instead of them having to ‘make room’ for white people.
tl;dr: oak deserves better and rafael casal continues to be the only relevant white man in existence