Coalition Objects to Broadway Re-Staging of Miss Saigon

Don’t Buy Miss Saigon Coalition objects to 2017 Broadway Re-Staging of Miss Saigon and publishes and Organizing Toolkit



We of the Minnesota-based Don’t Buy Miss Saigon Coalition strongly object to the Broadway re-staging of Miss Saigon and the musical’s planned national tour.  We are urging activists, artists and community members throughout the country to join in organizing against this out-dated work filled with stereotypes and culturally inaccurate portrayals of the Vietnamese people specifically and Asian in general.

While we recognize that there are many truths, we also know that institutional racism, sexism, and colonization continually reinforce shallow stereotypes of people of color.  Miss Saigon is such a spectacle: a big budget ode to colonialism that romanticizes war and human trafficking.  It commercially exploits the sufferings of the Vietnamese community, and it presents a distorted view of the Vietnamese people which hyper-sexualizes the women and presents the men as morally deficient.  Appropriating the Orientalist plot of Madama Butterfly—as if Japan and Vietnam are the same culture—Miss Saigon recycles false beliefs that somehow Asians care less for human life.

Asian American community activists in Minnesota have conducted protests against this musical on three separate occasions.  Through our most recent activism, we obtained an apology from the Ordway Center for Performing Arts and a pledge by former president/CEO Patricia Mitchell never to present the musical again.  We are not calling for censorship, but for presenting institutions to make a choice of conscience and artistic discernment: Stereotypes and cultural misrepresentations make for bad art.

On our Don’ webpage, we present articles critiquing the musical as well as anti-Miss Saigon testimonies by Asian Americans and prominent Minnesotans.  We also present our DBMS Organizing Toolkit which outlines steps we took in critiquing, protesting and doing community work to educate people about the musical’s negative effects.  This toolkit can serve as a blueprint for similar activism in other communities across the country.

If you are interested in further information about the Don’t Buy Miss Saigon Coalition, please contact: