Loud homophobe storms out of ‘Rent’ after ‘realising it was about gays’


rent movie 2005 columbia pictures broadway musical
Image: Columbia Pictures

An “ignorant” theatregoer has walked out of a stage performance of Rent after they discovered the musical “was about gays” and the theatre group’s response has gone viral.

UK arts group Bite My Thumb recounted the “horrible incident” in a statement on Twitter.

They said the patron stormed out during a matinee performance in Leeds at the weekend.

The cast had just performed the song Today 4 U, Tomorrow 4 Me. The sole audience member “picked up their coat, rose from their chair and left the auditorium”.

“On exiting, the individual turned to a member of the front of the house team. [They] declared ‘I DIDN’T REALISE THIS SHOW WAS ABOUT GAYS’,” the arts company recalled.

“All the cast, creatives and backstage crew of the production were utterly disgusted to hear about this display of small-minded ignorance.”

Jonathan Larson’s Rent follows a diverse group of friends in New York City at the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Bite My Thumb said the company chose the musical to give a “voice to the LGBTQ+ community and educate on the horrors of the AIDS epidemic”.

But after the walkout, the group will now “donate a percentage of that performance’s box office” to a queer charity. They want “to take a single individual’s hate and create something positive from it”.

“So thank you to that close minded, out-dated person,” the company wrote.

“Your appalling attitude now means an underfunded LGBTQ+ organisation will receive a donation it so desperately needs and will put to good use.

“Hate is always foolish, and love is always wise.”

Rent is one of Broadway’s longest-running musicals

The Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning Rent premiered in 1996. It closed in 2008, and is among the longest-running shows on Broadway.

A theatrical film version of Rent also arrived in 2005 (pictured).

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