RADA students have requested that George Bernard Shaw's name be removed from the drama school's theater for his support for eugenics.
Students have requested that the playwright's name be removed from the George Bernard Shaw Theater (GBS Theater) as part of an anti-racism action plan.
They also asked the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) to stop showing restoration comedies due to their association with Empire, the Telegraph reported.
The Anti-Racism Action Plan was drawn up by the RADA student body and argued that "RADA celebrates historical figures who represent racist ideologies".
RADA students have called for the drama school's George Bernard Shaw Theater to be renamed as the playwright (above) supports eugenics
The student body has presented the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) with an action plan against racism in which they argue that "Rada celebrates historical figures who subscribe to racist ideologies".
Regarding the renaming of the GBS theater, it says in the plan: "This man spoke out for eugenics and fascism."
Irish playwright Bernard Shaw controversially supported eugenics in his writings and gave lectures for the Eugenic Education Society, which aimed to educate the public about the practice.
Great playwright who praised Hitler in 1935
George Bernard Shaw, born July 6, 1856, was an Irish playwright and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925.
He wrote more than 60 pieces including Man and Superman in 1902 and Saint Joan in 1923.
One of his most famous works is Pygmalion – on which My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn was later based.
His success was cemented by plays such as Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara and The Doctor & # 39; s Dilemma.
Shaw expressed controversial views, including the promotion of eugenics and alphabet reform, that had little impact on his success as a playwright.
During the First World War, he controversially denounced both sides as equally guilty and rejected vaccinations and organized religion.
In the late 1920s he spoke positively of dictatorships from both the right and the left, expressed his admiration for Mussolini and Stalin – and praised Hitler in 1935.
Shaw made fewer statements later in his life, but continued to write until his death at the age of 94 on November 2, 1950.
He declined all state honors, including the 1946 Order of Merit.
Shaw, who wrote more than 60 pieces, even praised Hitler in 1935 and expressed his admiration for Mussolini and Stalin.
Shaw did not follow the idea among eugenicists of "controlled breeding" for humans, but argued controversially that natural instinct, unrestrained by social forces, would guide reproduction.
He argued, "The only basic and possible socialism is the socialization of selective human breeding."
The theory of eugenics had become popular before the Nazis came to power in 1933 and found support in America during the first half of the 20th century.
Early proponents believed that people inherited mental illness, criminal tendencies, and even poverty that could be spawned as a result.
Sir Francis Galton coined the term eugenics iIn his 1883 book "Investigations into the human faculty and its development".
Prominent citizens, scientists, and socialists advocated eugenics, including Marie Stopes, Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Alexander Graham Bell.
John Harvey Kellogg, who invented the Kellogg corn flakes cereal, was also a noted eugenicist.
Shaw also controversially promoted Alphabet Reform, a movement to reform the spelling of the English language to be more consistent and conform to pronunciation.
RADA has promised to respond to the action plan, saying it has recognized the need for "urgent and fundamental change as the school" has been and is institutionally racist, "according to the Telegraph.
Shaw, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925, was one of the earliest members of the RADA Council in 1911.
After his death in 1950, he has become one of the school's main benefactors as a third of his royalties have since gone to RADA.
In 2019-20, royalties from his work, including Pygmalion in 1913, contributed £ 78,000 to the school.
However, this is set to end this year when the 70 year copyright period ends.
After Shaw's death, a third of his royalties went to RADA. His most famous work is Pygmalion, the inspiration for My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn (above).
The famous musical My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn is also based on Pygmalion, one of Shaw's most famous works.
Shaw's success was also underpinned by plays such as Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara and The Doctor & # 39; s Dilemma.
What does the RADA students' anti-racism action plan call for?
The student body's anti-racism action plan has also called for the focus to be removed from the debate received, which they believe takes precedence over any other speech in the training.
Instead, it is recommended that students encourage students to use their own accents – especially when playing royal characters.
Other recommendations included introducing a Head of Hair and Makeup role for a black professional who can style afro-textured hair.
The plan also provides that “master and servant exercises” will be banned from improvisation lessons and that the singing lessons will be redesigned, since the composers examined are “almost exclusively white men”.
In addition to the RADA students' action plan to remove Shaw's name, too calls on the staff to examine how their practices are western and imperialist.
The anti-racism document also calls on the drama school to "remove all paintings, sculptures, pictures and room names that celebrate racist characters" and to discontinue John Osborne's "Look Back In Anger", which makes BAME students feel to be excluded.
In their submission to RADA, the students said: “What black people experience with an education that is filtered through imperialism, colonialism, white supremacy and a westernized history cannot be solved by fogging them up in black texts or making Hamlet black.
"It is deeply worrying that the foundation of our education today continues to be lacking in diversity or diversity."
The student action plan also tells the drama school to remove all of them.Paintings, sculptures, pictures and room names celebrating racist figures.
The document also reportedly made a number of other allegations, such as the decentering of the received pronunciation from teaching and the prohibition of improvisational exercises for "masters and ministry".
According to reports, RADA has responded to the students' plan to undertake "structural reform to end institutional racism" at the drama school.
The drama school was founded in 1904 by noted actor Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree as an academy which, according to the RADA website, was founded by industry for industry.
The school was initially located above His Majesty's Theater in the West End and has since provided professional training for actors, stage managers, designers and technical stage specialists.
MailOnline has asked RADA for further comments.
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