The Fairy Princess has been taking note of a lot of things…lots of things…and there will be her usual ‘extra-ness’ at another time, this is gonna be a little bit of afternoon delight quickie realness…and it is specific and it is pointed and y’all may not like her after, but that is ok.

Recently she received this in the mail from Actors Equity Association

Dear Fairy Princess,

I wanted you to hear this news from me first. This season will be the last for the name “Gypsy Robe.” The tradition and the ceremony before opening night of a Broadway musical, in which Equity honors the chorus member with the most Broadway Chorus credits, will continue, but the name will change.

Equity’s National Council recommended this week that we retire the name “Gypsy Robe.” I supported this change, and as chair of the ACCA Committee, I led the charge at the committee level.

That is not where I started on this issue. If you had asked me when I first joined Equity’s Council, I never thought I would sit down to write this message.

When I think of the Robe, I think about the intent behind the tradition, which has become an institution of our community. For over 60 years we have celebrated our members with legs in the business with a fun event on opening night. Many people have received the Robe more than once and some have even passed on receiving it again, so that more of us can feel the pride of an event that celebrates lasting in a business most don’t even get started in.

But here is the reality: this name is no longer appropriate, particularly as we engage in our work to reduce hiring bias in the theatre industry. I hope you will join me and take a moment to consider the difference between intent and impact.

The word “Gypsy” originates as a slur employed against the Romani people. Romani (also called Roma) people didn’t travel from place to place because they wanted to. Historically, they traveled because no one, no country, no sovereign state, accepted them. Still today they suffer persecution and are treated as second-class citizens. They obviously didn’t have a union behind them negotiating their time or travel conditions or overtime rates.

It’s time to move forward together. Will you click here and tell us what you think the new name should be?

Good intentions don’t sanitize the huge impact an expression has, and how much the words we use matter. We can – and we will – continue the Robe tradition. But we cannot appropriate someone else’s identity without their voice attached to it. The Robe has carried as its name an insult to people who have literally not been allowed the same kinds of privileges and rights that we all have created a union to defend. That must stop.

History will not go away because of the change of a name. But what we can do is control our own actions. As a union, a collective created to champion actors’ rights and be their voice, we must lead by example.

This change may not easy for everyone. But it is right.

In Solidarity,

Kim Jordan
Chair, Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs

The Fairy Princess is an AEA Member, she is also a SAG-AFTRA Member and she is also – a damn human being of color and she is THRILLED that AEA took, let’s be honest, the time to write this letter and send it out.


She thinks this decision was done quickly and did not take a lot of time, because when something is ‘right’, it is ‘right’. As her friend, Anderson Jones used to say “If they knew better they’d do better”.  As this is the age of the Interwebs, people have a lot more access to information, information is power. The world wide web is great power.

What comes with ‘Great power’.Super Friends, ya got me?….is GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.


Now, rather than respond on everyone’s social network that helped the POTUS CHEEZUS spread mis-information – she is gonna lay it all out here.

Cuz there is a reason that all People of Color and People of Minority Status – and those who have ever been of a persecuted group, should back this. The Rom are descended People of Color. Which is almost 100 per cent the reason that they were kicked out of wherever they were – the color of their skin.

You need to back this or you are going to wind up yelling at people to get off your lawn and no one will want to visit your grouchy butt because you will shout about equality – but equality for one is equality for ALL.

When you pop off about how pointless and stupid this motion is – you reveal your prejudice against a people who have suffered enough. You show us your bigotry.

And yeah, it is bigotry.


The Romanichal People, which is what generally people refer to as “Gypsy” are known by several names. Now, because America co-opts literally everything – over here in the States, yes, the word Gypsy has been divorced in many people’s minds from what they were in Europe – which was a persecuted people. Which currently IS a persecuted people.

Yes, they went through the concentration camps. Yes, they suffered cleansings’where soldiers went in and slaughtered them. AEA members may be unaware of their suffering, y’all think they are out having fun dancing around a campfire, but that is not the whole story.

In America, we have been ‘sold’ the romance of what a wandering life is without dealing with the reality of what is has always been – people being chased out of every place they have ever decided to rest for a moment. This is not newthey still ask Rom people to leave – whether they call them “Travelers‘ or “Tinkers’ in Ireland, Gypsies – or not.

The reason that the Rom have always been chased away, is because they are descended from the Dalit people of India.

They are Asian descended people.

Intermarriage and rape – YES, RAPE- over the generations with Europeans changed the way they look, but they are ‘of’ us – which is why Asian Americans need to support this change in nomenclature for a theater tradition that was developed as part of a fundraiser to help raise money for people who were dying from a plague called AIDS.

Dalits are called “The Untouchables” and somewhere several hundred years ago, they were, as a giant group, chased out of a India. Because of the color of their skin and their inability to climb out of poverty due to no fault of their own.

You know who was also considered “Untouchable”  until people changed their minds and opened their hearts?

People who had AIDS.

Commonality. Compassion.


Hmmm, so they had to leave en masse their homeland because of personal safety issues. Sound like anyone you know?

Sounds like TFP‘s Catholic Family from Ireland. Sounds like her Chinese Family in Australia. Sounds like friends of hers whose families may also be considered minorities either ethnically or religiously or both. Sounds like people now who need to flee their own countries because of who they love. Sounds like people who have to give up their families because they are now their authentic selves, and their families cannot handle it.

In short, it sounds like all of us, everywhere.


Now, yes, AEA had used the term “Gypsy” – American Actors adopted it, in particular in relation to dancers and chorus performers who, yes, travel quite a lot. Who, yes, live a wandering type of existence.

That was then, and truly, when it started, it was meant with no offense. Many celebs proudly state their Gypsy status – but that was then, and this is now.

Again, what America had been sold was the ‘romance’ of it, and let’s be honest, Theater People love romance and they love living their lives a bit…how shall we put it…on an angle.


We were fed the romance of it in books, operas, films, cartoons, and stage plays – and anyone who does musicals who says they do not love swishy skirts, dance numbers, and tambourines is lying.

The created myth of the Rom is not and was not the reality of the Rom.

What ‘we’ did not know at the time, was that to Rom who had lost their families toethnic cleansings in almost every nation in Europe, that term was offensive. It had been used to ‘other’ them so that they were easily wiped away with a clean conscience by those Governments and Peoples that killed them.

It is and was equivalent to saying things like what TFP has been called, and she will list a few here –

Chink. (Ya got me, tough guy, TFP is Chinese)

Jap.  (Yo, not accurate)

Gook.  (Whoops not Korean)

Flip. (Must be because she sings, but sadly, no – try Maori)

Half-Breed. (Well…that one…kinda yes, but still)

Skank. Whore. Fat. Fat Slut.Bitch. (Is that really all you got?)

Dyke. (She had short hair and a leather jacket)

In Australia they would call her all the above derogatory names  and more because she was American, so she developed a flawless accent to match her Aussie Passport.


TFP saw this AEA communication, which had options for changing the name of the robe that is attached to that tradition of rewarding the ensemble member who has been in the most Broadway shows and she was down with it.

Until she read the comments posted by AEA Members who did not like the name change because

1. They did not consider it important

2. They believed it was a case of getting too politically correct

3. They thought the Council was wasting THEIR money having thoughts in their head other than contracts.

Listen up, Crusty People –  the tradition has not been changed in any way.

Still goes to the ensemble member with the most Broadway shows under their belt. Still is passed on from one show to another on opening night.All the running around in a circle and adding of the special patches from each show, STAYING.


We’re just gonna call it “The Robe” – or something like that. Four options were given.

(TFP voted for “The Robe” – She is not for naming it after anyone, keep it simple.)

What this debate is really about – is prejudice. If you are not down with the name change, then that is becauseyou see the Roma as less than Which is what they are used to. Which is why we need to do better.

No one wants people telling them what to do. People like to do what they want, and they want things that they have enjoyed to continue to stay around exactly as it began, no matter who is upset by it because they are the only people that matter. They are comfortable with the status quo.

Only – there is never a status quo, Folks – not in theater.

Theater is ever changing.

If you were told that an entire Union spent time celebrating “The Chink Robe” as an elaborate opening ceremony – what would your thoughts be?

If you arrived in NYC to hear that the NY Theater Community put it’s moxie behind “The (insert your slur of choice) Robe” –  as a celebration – would you get it then?


No, TFP has no idea how many Rom are in AEA, and IT DOES NOT MATTER if there is ONE OR NONE.

Does. Not. Matter.

“We” of AEA now KNOW that it is offensive.


Keep the tradition, lose the name.

So let it be said, so let it be done.


Didn’t Hammerstein write about what happens to people who are carefully taught? Y’all have been carefully taught to use this phrase, now un-teach yourself.

We all grew with terms that applied to the LGBTQ family, we learned how to call Asian Americans, well…Asian Americans, and then AAPI to include Pacific Islanders. We learned how to call people Latinx, South Asian, African American, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Native American, Indigenous Peoples…we learn ALL THE TIME – so stop the foolishness.

No one is backing off of contract negotiations. The Union does not stop because they have many people and there is this thing called ‘multi-tasking’. To espouse the “My Union should be working for me” BS, is actually, just BS.

They are working for you – just not ONLY you.

You do not mourn the loss of a Slur added to Robe.


You keep the beautiful traditions and call it something else – just like the Catholic Church did with Druid Traditions. Just the way we all say Happy Holidays.

If it did not have cool and interesting and beautiful or funny patches from different shows all over it, someone would be wearing it to cover their nekkid tush! We have to have internal war over this?

These traditions and celebrations help raise money and awareness for people and services ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES – and you know who is a part of the United States?

Romanichal people.

Listen,  if it was the slur that applied to YOU – and someone stopped it – you would be grateful, not grumbling.

TFP out.