More Notes From the Gay Marriage Wars: Robert Weiss Responds

On June 25, this blog reported on a mass email sent around the city by Robert Weiss calling for a boycott of the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre, until Center Theatre Group, which administers the three theaters, makes a policy statement vigorously opposing the contribution of $400,000 by Ahmanson Theatre benefactor Howard Ahmanson to the organization sponsoring the anti-gay marriage amendment on the November ballot.

“Wrong Ahmanson,” responded CTG artistic director, Michael Ritchie, suggesting that Weiss was confusing Howard Ahmanson, Jr, who made the donation to the group, “California Protect Marriage,” with his father, Howard Ahmanson, Sr., who provided the seed money for the Ahmanson Theatre in 1964 and died in 1968. Center Theatre Group insists that Ahmanson, Jr. has nothing to do with the theater.

CTG noted that they had informed Weiss of this, and had received no response. The Weekly received a response from Weiss this morning.

“I responded by saying that when the family gave [seed money to] the theater, they put their name on it for a reason -- to promote their family business and namesake. I reminded them that every time they promote a piece of theater on the radio or TV and mention it is at THE AHMANSON, that they promote that family name. Most Los Angeleans know of the Ahmanson name through their promotion of the theatre. Based on that and their statement that the current Ahmansons do not financially support the theater -- I suggested that the CTG board simply put out a public statement that the CTG and the theater have no affiliation with the current Howard Ahmanson -- thereby distancing themselves from him and his financial suppoort of the anti-gay marriage initiative. They responded by saying that they are VERY gay supportive and there is no need to make such a statement.

That was that.”


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