The Met has critic’s Twitter account suspended

The Met has critic’s Twitter account suspended


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2021

From Van magazine:

(Musician Jennifer) Wu changed her Twitter name to Metropolitan Opera, donned the guise of the company’s bio and avatar, and tweeted:

The Metropolitan Opera condemns violence against Asians. Racism has no place in the arts.

Tonight’s free Nightly Met Opera Stream of Madama Butterfly conducted by James Levine features Anna Netrebko as Cio-Cio San. Available March 17 at 7:30PM ET until March 18 at 6:30PM ET.

… Thanks to the algorithm, the tweet had a modest success beyond Wu’s 800 followers. Some opera fans missed the outrage entirely, seeing this in their feed without fully grokking the background of Peter Gelb’s leaked, and laudatory, email to the Met staff in praise of Levine; Anna Netrebko’s unapologetic defense of black- and yellowface in productions; or the missteps that the Met—and many other classical musicians and institutions—have made in the genre of performative allyship. …

The Met, which rarely responds to criticism on social media, tweeted that “an account unaffiliated with the Met tweeted out false information under the guise of the Met. Please disregard all information. Tonight’s free stream of Anna Bolena will proceed as planned at 7:30PM ET.”

Shortly thereafter, Wu’s account was permanently suspended. A statement from the company’s press office clarified: “When the Met’s Twitter account was impersonated we took action to suspend the account as it was giving out incorrect information to the public.”


Read on here.



  • Brian says:


  • V.Lind says:

    Quite right. Hijacking accounts should be stopped at all costs — and I speak as someone who has never been on Twitter, nor ever would be.

    But social media is a fact of life, even if I do not choose to make it part of mine, and people ought to be able to trust, if not the content (viz: a recently-suspended account of a high-profile politician) at least the source. It does not matter whether one agrees or not with the Met’s position, but it is entitled to state its own and take the consequences, not to have one attributed to it, however noble the content.

  • FrankUSA says:

    Here we go again. The title of this posting is contrary to the actual. This person who used the name of the Metropolitan Opera was WRONG in doing so. The attached article is just a lot of bloviating. There is no excuse for what she did despite any attempts to rationalize it. AND the title of this post should have been ACCURATE about the actual story instead of being MISLEADING.

  • Zandonai says:

    Wu is not a Met ‘critic’ she’s an ID thief and deserved to have her fake twitter account removed.

  • Zandonai says:

    Also I have no problem seeing whites portray minorities in the context of Art if it’s done in a tasteful, respectful manner. But of course these woke minority activists would have NONE of it.

    • Giustizia says:

      It’s called “theater.” Becoming a character. They have something called “makeup.” Netrebko is on solid ground here. Or must you also be a real U.S. naval Lt. to dare to don Pinkerton’s uniform? Or be an actual sociopathic racist to play Iago?
      This absurdity must end. The left destroys everything they touch. Antifa shouts “free speech is racist” while attacking and beating an Asian gay man, Mr. Ngo.

  • SMH says:

    Jennifer Wu is a hero. Now if only the Met would move this quickly to PAY ITS MUSICIANS.

  • Anon! A Moose! says:

    There’s a big difference between fraud and criticism. If she tweeted that out under her own name, no biggie. Under someone else’s name that isn’t obviously a parody, that’s fraud.

    • againstbigotry says:

      OK, but let’s remember that her handle, which is always visible, was still the same. The post was simply a parody, which, any opera lover knows, was totally false, since Netrebko has never sung Butterfly. I get that the Met had to take the post down, but to suspend the account for what was obviously a joke just seems a step too far (maybe it was Twitter that decided on doing this).

      • V.Lind says:

        Of course it was Twitter. If individual subscribers had the power to take Twitter down, it would be empty (people don’t like to be disagreed with these days). However the Met may have made representations to Twitter leading to the suspension. As it had every right to do. If they had their own account, that is where she should have made HER representations.

  • Karl says:

    Silence is violence. So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’

  • Araragi says:

    Wu created a fake Twitter account with the apparent intent of posing as the official Metropolitan Opera Twitter account. It’s totally understandable for the Met and Twitter to regulate that to avoid confusion. With regard to the specific tweet, one wonders if Ms Wu’s criticism extends to Hamilton, which casts mostly minorities as America’s decidedly paler Founding Fathers.

    • Tom Clowes says:

      What’s the proper way to address the problem that historically White folks have been cast as people of color while people of color haven’t been cast as White characters?

      • V.Lind says:

        What problem? Ever seen a black Prince in Swan Lake? I have. Did Jessye Norman only sing “black” roles?

      • Giustizia says:

        Cast persons of color in traditionally white roles as the great George Shirley played Pinkerton, Ferrando, etc. in the sixties and as others like Vincent Cole have done since. Or Price, Verrett, and Bumbry did with total and grateful acceptance on the part of audiences. As long as you have the vocal goods, go for it. And make up as you deem theatrically appropriate. From the sixties on this was never a problem until the radical left for their own power hungry ends decided to make it one and resolved to topple monuments of Western culture one by one until their was and is nothing remaining.

  • A foolish stunt by the “critic”.

    “Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter Rules. Twitter accounts that pose as another person, brand, or organization in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under Twitter’s impersonation policy.”

  • fcg says:

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Dumb is as dumb does.

  • Parody accounts disguising themselves as their targets are all over social media, and experienced users recognize them easily. On Twitter, I follow “MSDNC” which is brilliant, and “US Dept. of Fear” which is often hilarious. Over the past 4 years, mock Trump accounts multiplied like the proverbial rabbits. This is a shitstorm in a thimble, and the Met is a half-dead, humorless zombie of an institution.

  • George says:

    If white people only sing white people’s roles, People of Colour only POC roles (Otello, Porgy and Bess) and Asians only Asians (Butterfly and Turandot) the last two will soon be out of work. I think that the voice and not race should decide the casting.

  • Sharon says:

    Actually, Madama Butterfly for its time was pretty woke.
    It discussed Western imperialism, prejudices and oppression and exploitation of other races honestly, portrayed foreign cultures accurately, and portrayed people of color as real people instead of symbols, stereotypes or lesser humans.

    In fact, one could make a strong case that Madama Butterfly was less racist than Porgy and Bess, which everyone agrees was done with such depth and sensitivity by the Met last year. In the original novel on which the opera was based, called Porgy, admittedly written by a white man, called Porgy, Bess was not a drug addicted prostitute but was abducted and taken to New Orleans from South Carolina, presumably for prostitution, by Black organized gangsters one of whom wanted revenge when Bess pushed him over a pier when he was sexually harassing her weeks before.

    With a little different staging, such as in the NYCO version of twenty years ago, it makes an even stronger anti western imperialist statement.

    As far as criticism of someone singing in yellow face is concerned, I agree with Araragi’s comment about Hamilton.

    It’s one thing if Asian actors and singers are not permitted to do any roles other than Asian or if white actors do nothing but denigrate minorities in black or yellow face (such as in minstrel shows) but otherwise turning oneself into another person is what acting is all about

  • sam says:

    Ironically, in assuming a false identity, Jennifer Wu re-eacted all the racist stereotypes of Asian women: cunning and devious, self-effacing, no identity or voice of her own.

    • V.Lind says:

      I think all that you had to say was that in assuming a false Identity, Jennifer Wu acted. In a role not specifically cast for an Asian-American.