Bitter Lemons removes Colin Mitchell as Editor in Chief

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Bitter Lemons has always celebrated its open forum environment but Editor Colin Mitchell’s recent article within the Chicago theatrical community crossed from controversial into unacceptable. As a result, Bitter Lemons has removed Colin Mitchell as the Editor of Chief effective immediately.

Bitter Lemons apologizes to all of those who have experienced victimization and thanks all of those who have spoken up to establish a loud standard.

Most importantly, Bitter Lemons will remove the article, leave the comments, and reevaluate its open forum policy.

With questions or concerns please contact us at [email protected].

Comments (28)

U 46928 t 1865969

Removing Colin is your prerogative. Removing the article and leaving the comments makes as much sense as most of the decisions in this debacle.

U 52317 t 8171069

Leave the article up to prove that mistakes can be made, rectified and learned from. It’s part of your history. Don’t hide it.

U 52317 t 8171069

Well done, by the way. Well done.

Default user

Those are the first words you’ve said, Jason, that aren’t patently offensive and monstrously stupid. You have been an apologist for a vile human being, for which there is zero excuse, although I fully expect a treatise filled with adroit wordsmithing hurtling toward a poisonous conclusion.
That being said, if the comments are to remain—which is fine—then so should the article, albeit with a bright red banner or two explaining.

Default user

A good decision, if overdue. He was always a preening troll and poseur. I agree with other posters: leave it all, or none. Comments alone is just going to muddy the waters.

Default user

Glad you removed the troll. I have to agree with others: Leave it all, or none.

Default user

Thank you all for your comments! The article has been put back up for archival purposes.

U 8793 t 9798352

Bitter Lemons has always amplified the voices of critics, for better or for worse. But my message for them is always the same: It’s a lot easier to destroy than to create.

I hope the victims of the abuse at the Profile are vindicated by this, somehow. Lord knows they deserve whatever victories they can get. And also because this is not a small consequence, for Colin or for LA theater. See you in the lobby, C.

Default user

Can someone please clarify: It has always appeared to me that Colin is the owner of Bitter Lemons, that it is his site, that he created it and that he is (or has been) its face. Please explain if this is not so.

Default user

Please restore all the comments!

Default user

According to the interwebs, Colin is one of three owners of Bitter Lemons LLC.

Editorin-in-Chief or not, he will still be associated will Bitter Lemons, correct?

Default user

Yes, the article remains (fine) but all the comments are gone, which means all the people who took exception to this in the first place have just been spat upon. At this point, this site is looking very foolish.

U 52071 t 4170222

A proud moment for all members of the Los Angeles community. Job well done, everybody. Job well done. The American theatre will be far better off with the removal of another voice that didn’t agree with everything it did yet supported the voicing all the same. Proud company to keep all of us. Proud company indeed.

Default user

Colin Mitchell, Ezra Buzzington and Jason Rohrer can look upon this episode as an opportunity. An opportunity to form their own theater website or theater company where they can be as tone-deaf and misogynistic as their hearts desire. I wait with un-bated breath.

U 46928 t 1865969

I hope we didn’t lose the comments, Enci, when you took down the post. If you did, firing Colin’s not going to appease the people who want to show their friends the names they called him, right there on the internet.

Default user

Colin’s article served only to kick people while they were down. It was deliberate and upsetting to MANY innocent suffering people.

I use Jason as proof that free speech remains. His article shares the same opinion, and yet his job is intact. The issue is not in sharing your opinion, but the manner in which you share it. You can’t enrage people so bluntly and expect absolutely no backlash. People will speak up, and this is free speech at its finest. You share your opinion, we share ours.

Default user

We are working in restoring all the comments! Apologies for the glitch! We are doing our best to get them back up asap!

U 48170 t 5294524

I applaud Enci for removing Colin from his E-I-C position. It is a necessary first step in restoring the reputation of Bitter Lemons. Other organizations have recovered from situations like this. What are the next steps? Selecting the right replacement E-I-C is a start. Mandatory sexual harassment training (as in the legal definitions, recognizing in, and how to respond) for staff and regular columnist. If possible, some form of restitution to the community.

And yet…

We all need to remember the importance of freedom of speech in all of this. While we may disagree with what Colin said, we must remember that he still had the right to say it, and BL had the right to publish it, and that is important. Our theatres have the right — perhaps the obligation — to say things that may make us uncomfortable, to start and continue the dialogue that results to move society to a better place. We indicate our approval or disapproval with our pocketbooks, and we recognize (I hope) that an individuals speech may not be representative of the organization (especially if the organization indicates that is the case). Further, those of us who write about theatre — professionally, for the blog-o-sphere, or who comment in venues such as this, have the equal obligation to express our views, to “call it like we see it”, and to refute problematic ideas. Freedom of speech gives us the ability to see the uncomfortable notions that exist; it also gives us the ability to refute via cleaning sunlight and commentary.

I have always said that the best apology is to change the behavior that resulted in the need for the apology in the first place, to ensure that the problematic situation never happens again. We’ve seen a first step in this. But only a first step.

Default user

Thank you all for your comments. Colin’s article has been restored with all of the comments.

U 46928 t 1865969

Excellent, Enci. Thank you. This can’t have been an easy weekend in your house.

Default user

OK…so I’m trying to work out exactly how much hypocrisy is going on here.
So…most of you can rant about how “your” comments have been removed but it’s ok with all of you that Colin has been silenced?
Just checking. So I’m waiting for someone to explain to me how it’s “different”.
Go ahead. Tell me. I know you will.

Default user

David, the issue was in the article being there without the comments. Thus his voice was there without ours. People actually encouraged his article to be put back up when it was first taken down… I don’t view that as hypocritical, though I don’t fully understand why the comments NEED to be there. Colin’s been removed from his position for his deliberately upsetting and terrible words and that’s really all I care about.

Also, your comment demands an explanation, but then deliberately belittles anybody who might give you a response. “Go ahead. Tell me. I know you will.” Fortunately, I really don’t care if a hot head such as yourself attempts to belittle me so I went ahead and gave you an honest answer. But your tactics are confusing and immature, and you might want to reexamine them if you want to be taken seriously.

U 71938 t 3728605

Joining this late but this is ludicrous. Removing Colin for his opinions in his article (especially since they were reasonable) is disgusting and idiotic. And those taking BLs’ position on this should realize that taken to its logical conclusion it leads to a kind of fascism. The kind in which the SS is replaced by whiny safe-spacers who decide which opinions are appropriate and which should be punished lest someone’s feelings get hurt.

Default user

Kevin-
The issue is that (some) people feel that Colin’s removal – BECAUSE of his “deliberately upsetting and terrible words” – is justified. (Rafael, Mike, Richard above, among others). That’s what I meant by “silencing” him. Of course, it’s your assumption that I wrote my comment in a “hotheaded” state. I didn’t DEMAND an explanation at all. I just knew I would get one.

Default user

Thank you, Dmitry.
Everyone believes in freedom of expression UNTIL they hear something they don’t agree with.And the real irony is that most of those people would self describe themselves as liberal when in fact they don’t even attempt to live by the real meaning of that word.

Default user
Default user

I guess the “theatre community” doesn’t do well with dissent. They are doing to Mr. Mitchell what they claim he did to them. The problem is that people who identify themselves as a group or in a group can never be fully individual, therefore mob mentality rules. Just something to contemplate. If it isn’t too offensive.

Default user

I guess the “theatre community” doesn’t do well with dissent. They are doing to Mr. Mitchell what they claim he did to them. The problem is that people who identify themselves as a group or in a group can never be fully individual, therefore mob mentality rules. Just something to contemplate. If it isn’t too offensive.


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