Mike Daisey Update

The Boston Globe‘s Geoff Edgers has done some reporting on the Mike Daisey walkout mentioned here on Saturday. It seems that, contrary to Daisey’s claims, there was no religious affiliation with the group. As Edgers reports (in a message received from Principal John Johnson of Norco High School):

It is a choir made up of 15-to-17 year-old students who were in town singing at a festival. As for the chaperone who poured water on Daisey’s notes… Johnson flat out apologizes. “I agree with Mike Daisey,” says Johnson. “With everything that’s going on in the world today, to have somebody come up on stage and take the water and pour it on his script was very inappropriate. I want to make this very clear, I apologize for that happening.”

Now by Johnson’s own admission, we still only have third-hand information to go upon here. But Johnson claims that Daisey’s show was intended as a theatrical experience for these kids and that Daisey’s ample use of “fuck” was one of the motivating factors behind the walkout. But if this is the case, I find it highly implausible that these kids have lived such sheltered lives that they haven’t heard profanity.

As for the man who poured water onto Daisey’s script, he was apparently one of the adult chaperones.

(Thanks, Geoff, for the update.)

[UPDATE: Mike Daisey offers an explanation on his blog:

The group responsible for the incident is from a public high school, though they identified themselves to me as a Christian group as they fled the theater–it’s barely audible on the YouTube clip, as an adult tells me they are a Christian group, then flees for the door, refusing to engage with me. Then in the lobby of the theater and on the phone to the box office they identified themselves again and again as a Christian group–I don’t know what that says about the division of church and state in Norco, California. As a group, the people in charge freely identified themselves as a Christian group, until reporters call and they remember they are from a public high school.

He’s also talked with the man who destroyed his outline.]


  1. Although kids are well-versed in profanity, staying for the show could have turned into a sticky situation for the adult chaperones. If a disapproving parent complained to the school about their child’s exposure to the performance’s content, the school and adults in attendance would have had a whole lot of trouble on their hands.

  2. I was troubled by the end of Daisie’s entry, where he sort of forces forgiveness on “David.” I think it’s not actually forgiveness if one attaches caveats to it.

  3. Well, that’s the best I could do. All I can tell you is that David didn’t have forgiveness “forced” on him–he was glad I forgave him, and even though we have a lot of differences it was sincere on both our parts.

  4. I,am a Father,of one of the kids, my son was there .
    One thing most people are missing. It seems to me, Mr Mike Daisey, knew before he posted on youtube, who this group were and came from. In the info area of the clip It states 87 members of a Christian group. why?
    I talk to him about this in messages ,he said he had posted before he knew who they were. It does not look that way to me . The one that puts the clips on youtube, are able to pull their clips, and repost, They can remove comments and block veiwers from making a comment. Which he did to me.
    Day of walk out 4-19-07
    Talked with Cindy L. from the school and the man the poured water David 4-20-07 acording to news papers and his site.
    Youtube shows posted 4-21-07.
    Why? After reading much about Mr. Daisey and hid followers. I think I have the answer.
    Seems as he forgave 1 and punished 86 others lets not count the other 11 adults just the 75 kids that were 14-17 years of age.
    He heard there cries with their comments .
    They were high school kids from s. California .there for choral competition.
    More info still shows christian group

  5. Even though the group of people were from a Public High School, the adults CHOSE to identify themselves as “Christians” and I believe that was biggest mistake in this whole mess. To state that you are a group of christians means that you will be representing them, as teachers tell their students all the time (I.E. “While you’re there you’re representatives of this school so be on good behavior.”). If in fact the reason for the walkout was because they were high schoolers and were afraid of angry parents, why in the world would you even have to mention anything about the religion of the group?? Unfortunately, although the “truth” of the matter is out, they are still going to be facing the consequences of first identifying themselves as a Christian group at the theatre.

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