MIAMI – A Miami Beach cultural landmark has reacted to US President Donald Trump’s derogatory comments about Caribbean, Central American and African nations by proclaiming its commitment to art from “shithole countries.”
“Colony Theatre proudly represents artists from sh!thole countries,” reads the message on the marquee of the Art Deco movie palace that is now a venue for theater, music and dance as well as film.
Michel Hausmann, the theater’s artistic director, told EFE that the message is in line with what Colony represents and with Miami’s identity as a city of immigrants.
“We see the theater not as something that is totally divorced from society, it’s a source of conversation,” he said.
Colony put the statement on its marquee less than 24 after media outlets reported that during a meeting with lawmakers to discuss immigration reform, Trump asked, “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?,” going on to mention Haiti, El Salvador and various African nations.
While the president subsequently denied using the vulgar expression, one of the legislators who was present for the conference, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, said that he heard Trump say those words.
“Those comments hit me hard because Miami is a city of immigrants and the Haitian community is very much part of us,” the Venezuelan-born Hausmann said, pointing out that 8 percent of the Magic City’s population is of Haitian descent.
Coincidentally, the Colony Theatre is preparing for the opening of a new play, “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” that highlights the issue of ethnic, racial and class stereotypes.
The play is a production of the Miami New Drama theater company, led by Hausmann.
Set in the world of WWE-style pro wrestling, the work features a New York-born Puerto Rican, Mace Guerra who is paid to lose to African American star Chad Deity.
Guerra also competes against villains wearing the guises of undocumented Mexican migrant and Muslim terrorist.