The team behind the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ blockbuster hit The Notebook say they are “encouraged” by the author’s “strong statement of support of the LGBTQ+ community” after leaked emails exposed him as a total bigot. As for his racism. Well, they’re turning a blind eye to that.
Just to recap: Last week, a series of leaked emails showed that in 2013, Sparks ordered administrators at the Epiphany School of Global Studies, a faith-based prep school he founded in 2006, to ban an LGBTQ student group and threatened at least two bisexual teachers with termination for defending queer students.
Additional emails showed the author making disparaging remarks about African American and Jewish children.
In response to the leak, Sparks issued a lengthly apology to the LGBTQ community, claiming to be “an unequivocal supporter of gay marriage, gay adoption, and equal employment rights and would never want to discourage any young person or adult from embracing who they are.”
Absent from his apology, however, was any reference to the other minority groups he disparaged in his emails.
But apparently it was enough to satisfy the creative team of the Broadway musical adaptation of his breakout novel. Because just the other day, the entire team–producers Kevin McCollum and Kurt Deutsch, composer Ingrid Michaelson, book writer Bekah Brunstetter, and director Michael Grief–issued joint response praising Sparks for his words:
And here’s where it gets especially awkward.
The show’s composer, Ingrid Michaelson, best known for her hit “Girls Chase Boys,” has long identified as a feminist and LGBTQ ally and recently hinted at being queer herself.
Just last month, she posted an photo of herself and friend Kristin Russo, who identifies as bisexual, to Instagram along with the caption: “one full gay, one partial.”
Queerty reached out to Michaelson for additional comment but did not hear back by press time. We will update the story if/when one becomes available.
The joint statement also makes zero reference to the racist component to Sparks’ emails, particularly the part where he said Black kids were too dumb and too poor to attend his school, then claimed his beliefs had “nothing to do with racism or vestiges of Jim Crow.”
Seriously, why are more people not talking about this or the fact that Sparks hasn’t addressed it at all?
A reading of Broadway musical adaption of The Notebook will take place later this month in New York with Vanessa Hudgens starring as the female lead.