The musical Miss Saigon is launching in Minneapolis and several other cities, and the London re-staging broke the record for West End box office ticket sales, making 4.4 million pounds in one day. Many defenders of Miss Saigon, a play written by two white men based on a photograph they saw, insist that the play is “truthful” and “historically accurate.” What is especially problematic is that Miss Saigon is the longest running and most enduring pop culture representation of Vietnamese people in the Western world - and to a certain extent and by extension of racism, it presents a narrow lens through which all Asians are viewed.
While we recognize that there are many truths, we also see that institutional racism, sexism, and colonization continually reinforce shallow stereotypes of people of color, and the ‘truths’ that are most often lauded and supported are exploitative works that reproduce and validate harmful power structures and chauvinism that ultimately harms the people they claim to portray. Miss Saigon is such a spectacle: a big budget ode to colonialism that romanticizes war and human trafficking.
We created this project to simply create a space where Vietnamese women and men could share their truths, as an act of resistance. Soon, we will add non-Vietnamese Asians, and non-Asian allies.
If you are interested, please contact us. We welcome you to share your truth, but we simply ask that you be considerate and not be racist, sexist, classist, homophobic, ablist, nor use any language or rhetoric that shames or denigrates prostitutes or sex workers.
More info on dontbuymiss-saigon.com. Please consider signing our petition. Big ups to 18 Million Rising and the Don’t Buy Miss Saigon coalition for making the petition happen.