Mandy Patinkin Withdraws from 'The Great Comet' After Being Tapped to Replace Black Actor - NBC Boston

Mandy Patinkin Withdraws from 'The Great Comet' After Being Tapped to Replace Black Actor

"I would never accept a role knowing it would harm another actor," the Broadway legend said in a statement

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    Mandy Patinkin Withdraws from 'The Great Comet' After Being Tapped to Replace Black Actor
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    Okieriete "Oak" Onaodowan, left, and Mandy Patinkin, right. Patinkin said he would no longer be taking over the leading male role in "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812" after learning that he would be forcing Onaodowan to depart from the show early.

    Tony winner Mandy Patinkin is canceling plans to perform in the Broadway musical "Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812," following an outcry that he -- a white actor -- would be cutting a black performer's time in the role short.

    "I would never accept a role knowing it would harm another actor. I hear what members of the community have said and I agree with them," the Broadway legend said in a statement to The New York Times, which he later posted to his Facebook page.

    Patinkin was supposed to take over the leading male role on August 15, forcing Okieriete "Oak" Onaodowan to depart from the show three weeks early.

    The struggling show had brought in Patinkin in to boost ticket sales, which were dipped after the departure of original star Josh Groban.

    But the "Homeland" actor appears to have been unaware that his arrival would be pushing out Onaodowan, who was a member of the original cast of "Hamilton."

    "My understanding of the show's request that I step into the show is not as it has been portrayed," he said. "I am a huge fan of Oak and I will, therefore, not be appearing in the show."

    The move drew backlash from other actors on social media, who said Onaodowan's early departure raised issues about black performers in the theater world.

    It was not clear if Onaodowan would continue to star as Pierre.

    He had previously said on Instagram that he would not be coming back to the production after Patinkin's stint, despite an invitation from producers to do so.