Idris Elba Responds To Female Writers’ Claims That They Were Removed From Play Credits
In 2013, actor Idris Elba and director/playwright Kwame Kwe-Armah began developing Idris’ play, “Tree,” along with fellow writers Sarah Henley and Tori Allen-Martin. After fours years of work, Sarah and Tori claim they have not received credit – even alleging that they were pushed out of the play.
Earlier this week, they issued an open letter detailing being “bullied and silenced.”
Excerpts from the letter read:
“For us it’s been devastating proof of the way doors are shut on women, and on the underdogs. We became completely disposable because we’re not famous or important enough. We were expected to shut up, lie down, and take it…On the 18th October Idris and Kwame filmed a promo shoot for MIF & YV production. We were unaware of this happening until we found out via Kwame’s Instagram…We had been kept in the dark for months whilst the project moved forward, and had repeatedly responded as promptly as possible, as well as trying to speak to Kwame directly to see if we could find a resolution, which was denied.”
Idris has officially responded to the womens’ accusations with a lengthy Twitter post, as his partner Kwame Kwe-Armah did days prior. Idris says that Sarah and Tori were made aware that the direction of the project would be changing:
“All creative ideas are workshopped before being pitched to producers and financiers. In order to secure a commission, we all understood that it had to take a new direction and re-emphasize the orgiginal IP from Mi Mandela and astart again. Tori and Sarah were told this and understood it…As new ambitions started to be proposed as the jumping off point for development, Tori & Sarah decided they didn’t want to pursue the early thoughts and declined to work any further on the project.”
He went on to add that despite the negative press their accusations garnered, any crediting errors have been corrected:
“Rightfully, as they were part of the original journey among many others, we have acknowledged Tori and Sarah in the foreword of the programme printed ready for the first preview in Manchester.”
Read Idris Elba’s entire statement below:
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) July 4, 2019
“Tree” will premiere a month-long run of shows in London on July 29th.
Written by Miata Shanay