A cry for Hollywood A-Listers and Tony Award committee members to “Give the Tonys Back to Broadway!!” actors has incited a Facebook page with 9,000 “Likes” and controversy among stage actors. Over the last few years, The Tony Awards has seen an overabundance of Hollywood movie actors taking home the award for their place in hit Broadway productions, like this year’s nominee Al Pacino (nominated for The Merchant of Venice). Broadway actors have been disgruntled and are turning to the nominating committee to honor those that are stage actors rather than screen icons.
Though many Hollywood actors did start out on stage, before making it to screen, some understand the fight at hand. Scarlett Johansen, who took the Tony in 2010, told Broadwayworld.com, "I have worked my ass off to get to where I am, so I understand that struggle. If somebody is cast because they are a name but they're not right for the job, well, it's very frustrating." Whether it was in response to the issue or based on merit, there are fewer names Hollywood names on this year’s ballot. "If you look at the shows, most of the people who got good reviews are nominated,” stated Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of the Broadway League.
Look for The Tony Awards to be presented on June 12.