An Open Letter To My Readers by Olin Meadows

Hello all,

First and foremost, I would like to apologize for the debacle that has spread itself across the Austin area social media among theatre practitioners and fans. I wrote a review that was not very well written, nor was it well received, and I made a major mistake. 

The introduction for the review that started this issue, I took from a review of the same play written 20 years ago and I did not give proper credit. Yes, put bluntly I plagiarized. I used someone else’s ideas and did not give credit. However, that is not why I was crucified, it was merely the hammer used to pound the nails. The reason for the backlash was because of what I wrote about an actor in the show I was reviewing. I have been accused of using words to attack someone, and to be malicious. That was not my intention. I originally thought my words were harmless, even after the first string of people came after me. I rewrote part of my review and made mention of my plagiarism and apologized for it, but I did not do much to change the words I used for describing the actors performance. It was not until another friend of mine actually picked up the phone and called me, and read my words to me with a voice other than my own that I realized how rude, hurtful and uncalled for they were. 

Yes, I did not care for this actor’s performance, but that is not an excuse to hurt someone’s feelings. I made the comments intending to be witty, and I was not. (As everyone on the internet has reminded me.) Please accept my apology for these insulting words. I have removed the review and I will not be posting it in any form again. In the future I will be sure to use only my words and thoughts, and most importantly I will make it a point to use words that I would want to be said about me, even when writing about less than positive things.  I hope that you Austin, and those affected by my words will forgive me. 

I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. I love this community and I do not want to do anything that would pull it apart. The words that my colleague and friend Jeff Davis posted on Facebook seem most accurate here.

 “I hope other critics out there can try to remember that artists are people, and people aren’t perfect. Sometimes mistakes are made. Sometimes people aren’t outstanding. But people are always people, and people have feelings. Your job as a critic is to honestly critique, not hurl insults. And to the critics out there who also act or direct or design, keep in mind how you reacted the last time you got a negative review.”  

Just like Mr. Davis wrote about artists, the same goes for critics. I am a person, and I am not perfect. Please accept my apology and forgive my mistake. Mr. Stevens I am sorry for hurting you with my words. I hope you will give me another chance, as I intend to do with your future performances.


Olin Meadows

Editor In Chief

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