Critics swarmed Twitter following an announcement from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre about a new play — “I, Joan” — that portrays the legendary martyr Joan of Arc as “a legendary leader, who in this production, uses the pronouns ‘they/them.'”
The Globe shared a statement “on identity” from the theatre’s artistic director Michelle Terry, who argued that Joan of Arc had been presented in that way in the past. “Regardless, theatres do not deal with ‘historical reality’. Theatres produce plays, and in plays, anything can be possible,” she added.
Terry went on to say that even William Shakespeare had not written “historically accurate plays,” claiming that the role of the theatre was to push boundaries and ask “imagine if? …”
“History has provided countless and wonderful examples of Joan portrayed as a woman. This production is simply offering the possibility of another point of view,” she said.
But as the statement made its way to social media, a number on Twitter saw the move instead as a pro-trans statement that — whether intentionally so or not — diminished the martyr’s role as a female icon.
“Just one more step for the misogynistic far left in their attempt to erase women from history…” @teresadg0 tweeted.
Writer and broadcaster Paul Embery added, “Joan of Arc. One of the most famous and influential women of all time. Reduced to this.”
“Joan was a woman. She was born female. She died a woman. Everything she accomplished, she did as a woman. Stop transing the dead. — A Woman,” Gaye Chapman remarked.
“The West is a theocracy but its creed is far more idiotic and based in fantasy than the most primitive religion,” James Kirkpatrick (@VDAREJamesK) tweeted. “Some savage, ignorant tribe on an island that kills and eats outsiders has a higher level of civilizational achievement than the contemporary West.”
“The English burned Joan while she was alive and now they’re burning her again when she’s dead. What a gross production,” author Ryan James Girdusky commented.
The Daily Wire’s own Matt Walsh — whose recent documentary explored the very basic question “What Is a Woman?” and addressed societies attempts to erase women in order to appease radical gender ideologues — had some thoughts on the issue as well.
“The fact that Joan of Arc was an actual woman is the whole point and what makes her story heroic and significant. But then again, shoe-horning ‘non-binary’ characters into historical stories will always be clumsy and stupid because ‘non-binary’ didn’t exist until 14 seconds ago,” he said.
The fact that Joan of Arc was an actual woman is the whole point and what makes her story heroic and significant. But then again, shoe-horning "non-binary" characters into historical stories will always be clumsy and stupid because "non-binary" didn't exist until 14 seconds ago. https://t.co/6HOpZuxBQL
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) August 12, 2022
Political commentator and self-described “Brexiteer” Patrick O’Flynn also noted that the Globe was operating at least in part at taxpayer expense — and argued that tax money shouldn’t fund productions that made political statements.
“This place got a £3m taxpayer grant in 2020. I’m sick of subsidising hard left ID politics masquerading as theatre. By all means go on with the show, but not in the maintained sector please,” he said.