Trinity Rep. Actor Says Wearing MAGA Hat Is Akin to Wearing a Confederate Flag or Klan Hood

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

 

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Trump supporter wearing Trump MAGA hat at Warwick, RI rally.

Long-time Trinity actor Joe Wilson, Jr. is criticizing those who wear a “Make America Great Again” hat, taking to Facebook on Monday to post that “wearing a MAGA hat is as offensive as being draped in a Confederate Flag. If you allow your teenage boys to wear this prop while attending a right to life/political rally you might as well put them in a ‘klan hood.'"

Wilson, who is one of Trinity’s most accomplished actors and has been with the theatre for 13 years, is currently starring in "Black Odyssey,"

“PS... a patron Trinity Repertory Company actually came wearing one to see our all African American cast in our production of black Odyssey," Wilson wrote in his post. "Mind you, he removed it before the show started but…"

He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, and an MFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre.

Last year he served as Denzel Washington’s understudy on Broadway. At Trinity he has starred in The Odd Couple, A Raisin in the Sun, A Christmas Carol, Paris by Night, All The King’s Men, and The Fantasticks, to name a few.

SEE PHOTOS FROM TRUMP RALLY IN WARWICK -- APRIL 2016

Wilson Outspoken

In May 2016, Trinity Repertory released a video of actor Wilson discussing his playing Jud Fry in Oklahoma!, in response to protesters questioning recent casting and production decisions at the theater company

"Having a black actor play that part is a not-so-subtle reminder if it does echo contemporary themes, [that] is the function of theater...to provide us ways for the audience not to sit back but be a participant," said Wilson in the video. 

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Wilson says wearing a MAGA hat is similar to wearing a Confederate Flag or a Klan Hood

The Wilson video came after members of the Brown University theater community criticizing Trinity Rep for racial implications of casting decisions in the current production of Oklahoma! as well as recent plays, and the theater.  Trinity runs a joint Masters of Fine Arts program with Brown -- is defending its actions.

Matriculating Brown/Trinity MFA student Adrian Blount was one of the students who spearheaded a silent protest outside the theater before a performance of Oklahoma!.

“We want to use our bodies to show our lack of consent of this piece which is charged with racial stereotypes and caricatures and minstrelsy,” Blount told Golocal.  “Trinity Rep has made it I guess a tradition of reproducing these stereotypes in their productions or erasing our bodes -- POC bodies -- people of color. In their To Kill a Mockingbird, the whole concept of race is completely erased -- for black people. But white actors got to play white actors. Black people had to play white people, people they didn't identify with.”

Editor's Note: A previous version had incorrectly identified the last quote; it has been edited to reflect was Blount's.

 

Related Slideshow: Trump Rally in Warwick Rhode Island, April, 2016

Photography by Richard McCaffrey

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Rep. Joe Trillo

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John DePetro

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Veteran Endorses Trump

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Trump Gets Started

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Trump Talks Brady

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Media

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Capacity Crowd

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Over Flowing

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Pushes on Trade

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Building a Wall

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Everyone Wants Trump

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Suporters

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Talks about RI

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Supporter

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Big Excitement

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Wearing the Trump Hat

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Crowd

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Trump-mania

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Supporters Outside

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Strong RI Support

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Pushing the Message

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Event Over

 

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