SLĀV DIRECTOR ROBERT LEPAGE CALLS SHOW’S CANCELLATION A ‘BLOW TO ARTISTIC FREEDOM’

Director says if it were up to him, the show would still be running

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In many of his other shows that addressed injustices involving "specific cultural groups," Lepage says he was never accused of cultural appropriation or racism. (Christian Côté/Radio-Canada)

After criticism led to its cancellation, SLĀV’s famed director Robert Lepage says the scrapping of the Montreal International Jazz Festival show is a “direct blow to artistic freedom.”

The show, performed by lead singer Betty Bonifassi, is described as “a theatrical odyssey based on slave songs,” but critics are calling it cultural appropriation.

In a statement released Friday on the Facebook page for Ex Machina, Lepage’s production company, the director said that if it were up to him, the show would still be running.

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