A high school in New Jersey decided to drop its fall production of And Then There Were None after ‘strong concerns’ were raised by parents and faculty members.
The decision by administrators at Hillsborough High School came when parents raised concerns about the story’s original title- which had a racial slur, according to NJ.com.
And There Were None is based off of an Agatha Christie book that in its original printing in England was named for the song Ten Little N*****s.
A high school in New Jersey decided to drop its fall production of And Then There Were None after ‘strong concerns’ were raised by parents and faculty members because the play is based off of a book by Agatha Christie initially named ‘Ten Little N*****s’
When it was printed in the United States in 1940 the title was changed to what it is now.
District Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts and Related Areas Michael Callahan wrote a letter to parents to explain the decision.
In the letter, he writes that the original title contains words that ‘certainly do not embrace the ideals of the “hate has no home here” sign’ at the school.
Callahan also said he met with other faculty members and made the decision to choose another play – Almost, Maine.
He said no students were at any time shown the racist content, and there is nothing controversial in the current version.
It’s not clear who specifically raised concerns over the title, or if the person who picked the play knew of the original title.
Christine Riggs Taber told NJ.com she doesn’t agree with the schools choice.
The decision by administrators at Hillsborough High School came after concerns were raised. The Visual and Performing Arts and Related Areas department will now put on a production of Almost, Maine
‘I find it disappointing that we, as a society, are willing to deny the parts of history that we currently fine distasteful,’ she said. She does not have a student at the school.
She also said Americans still study the Holocaust even though it’s unpleasant, suggesting this is a similar issue.
In the original novel all racial slurs were changed to Indians or soldiers.
And while the term in the book’s title did have a negative connotation in England when the book was published, it was much more racially controversial and offensive in the United States.
Almost, Maine was said to have been chosen because of a similar cast size.