NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, December 5, 2015, 5:48 PM
Confused viewers outraged by the all-black cast of NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” can ease on down from their gripes — a handful of eagle-eyed social media users have spotted a white dancer in the mix.
“The Wiz Live wasn’t an all-black cast,” wrote Twitter user @officialniamoss. “There was a white male dancer at Emerald City vogueing lol.”
“Nobody can say nothing about the wiz being racist. I saw a white dancer,” added @NoMoFreeRandy.
Viewers quickly identified the dancer as Chris Silcox, the lone white ensemble member listed on the TV movie’s IMDB page.
“This has got to be my favorite one so far #TheWiz #WhiteGuyInTheWiz,” Silcox tweeted Friday, quoting a user’s photo of him captioned, “How the hell did THIS GUY sneak on set?!”
(l. to r.) Mary J. Blige plays Evillene and newcomer Shanice Williams stars as Dorothy in the live production.
The live musical, a modern take on the Tony-winning Broadway classic, was blasted as “racist” Thursday night by several Twitter users apparently unaware of the “Wizard of Oz” retelling’s historically African-American cast — or the fact that “The Wiz” existed at all.
“So @nbc show #TheWizLive has an all black cast. There sure would be quite an uproar if it was an all-white cast,” wrote @KevXIndy, who has since deleted the tweet and apologized profusely.
“I just learned there is a black version of The Wizard of Oz called ‘The Wiz,'” wrote @MJTM. “How is this not racist?”
Queen Latifah (the Wizard), David Alan Grier (the Cowardly Lion), Uzo Aduba (Glinda), Elijah Kelley (the Scarecrow) and newcomer Shanice Williams (Dorothy) headlined the warmly received production, which followed in the footsteps of the 1978 film starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson and its 1975 Broadway predecessor.
(from l.) Ne-Yo stars as the Tin Man, Williams as Dorothy and Elijah Kelley as the Scarecrow during a dress rehearsal of “The Wiz Live!”
The show nabbed NBC 11.1 million viewers and excellent ratings in the 18 to 49 demo.