Exit, Stage Right

Jonanna Widner
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So many douchebags, so little time.
The air was thick with them this week: That guy who owns American Apparel and who holds his staff meetings in the nude; Joe the Plumber and his dumb-ass new country music contract; George W. Bush and his stupid face.

All worthy competitors for douchebag tag, but we found someone even more jarringly douche-y than they. See, here at Bitch, we reserve a special place in the douchebag pantheon for hypocrites, those folks whose complete lack of self-awareness results in a special form of destruction.

And indeed, this week, the Prop 8 controversy unearthed another foolish soul, Scott Eckern, who can't see the forest for the trees (especially when the trees are gay). Behold the douchbaggery:

Eckern has a sister who is a lesbian. Eckern also is was the director of the California Musical Theater in Sacramento. You'd think those two factors would indicate he's a pretty gay-friendly type of guy—if anything, the legacy of Guys and Dolls and The HMS Pinafore is about as straight as Lombard Street.

Sadly, not so much: It recently came out that Eckern donated $1,000 to the political groups behind Prop 8. (In case you've been living under a rock, Prop 8 was a recent California ballot proposal to change the California state constitution so that gay folk couldn't get married, essentially removing a right for said gay folk that had already been voted into law. Of course, if you've been living under a rock, chances are you voted for Prop 8, which by the way passed.)

That's right, the head of a musical theater company opposes gay marriage, to the point that he even gave money to support its demise.

After this little fact came to light, of course an uproar ensued (no doubt delivered in gorgeous three-part harmony), and Eckern resigned, which is a pretty sad thing, considering he's been there since 1984. From the LA Times blog:

"I am disappointed that my personal convictions have cost me the opportunity to do what I love the most," Eckern, the nonprofit stage company's artistic director since 2003, said in a written statement…. In his statement, he said he decided to resign "after prayerful consideration." He apologized "for any harm or injury" taken from his support of Prop. 8, but also affirmed his right "to act upon my belief that the traditional definition of marriage should be preserved."

I know how you feel, dude: Isn't it sad when someplace where you felt comfortable, for years, suddenly decides it doesn't want you, and you have to leave? When something that felt so normal and natural to you is taken away from you? I totally can't believe all the people in your company that puts on productions like "Hairspray" and "Avenue Q" aren't supporting you! That's, like, the saddest. I've got an idea: Why don't you go cry on someone's shoulder about it? I'm sure all the queens in all the casts of your beloved musicals will be happy to lend you an ear. Or perhaps you can lean on a family member, like, say, your sister?

Oh wait, that's right: They will probably be too busy booking their tickets to Connecticut and Massachusetts to help you out. Well, I'm sure you can find plenty of straight, right-wing-leaning, religious men to share both your sadness and your love of musical theater. And you are welcome to join those douchebags—because you, sir, are officially declared one yourself.

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4 Comments Have Been Posted


Oh the hypocrisy! He definitely deserves this award.


Ouch. What a douche indeed. I'm sure Thanksgiving dinner's going to be interesting at that household.

out of order

i agree with 90% of what is written in bitch, but i think this one is way out of order. prop 8 itself is douchbaggery at its finest, but assuming that anybody associated to musical theatre must be either gay-friendly or a hypocrite is pretty douchy too.

ppl have the right to support thier political beliefs without fearing for thier jobs, even misguided beliefs.

i agree with the last poster, give the award to lds for supporting bygamy, incest and pedophilia but having the gall to tell other ppl how to live.

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