A lot of controversy has risen around the recent selection of Abigail Breslin to play Helen Keller in a broadway revival of The Miracle Worker. Many disability advocates have protested and voiced their objection, while the producers are sticking to their guns by essentially claiming that the financial gains are more important than the artistic integrity of the show, by hiring a hearing and/or visually impaired child to play the role.
Ignore, for the moment, the arguments for disabled advocacy. That is one that is debateable, and, frankly society is not yet ready to have that debate, in a world where the disabled are faced with the attitude "We gave you the ADA, What more do you want?"
My conclusion? If the producer's opinion is the majority opinion in society today, and it seems to be, then there can only be one conclusion.
Art is dead.
When the integrity and soul of an artistic piece becomes secondary (or terciary) to the financial potential of the piece, it is no longer art. It is relegated down to commerce.
Did Louis Comfort Tiffany produce his six digit price selling stained glass as a cash cow? Did Leonardo Da Vinci paint The Mona Lisa because it was commissioned to him?
No, they did these things as expressions of their need to express themselves artistically. Their art...all art is...or is supposed to be an expression of our souls.
Why should a producer/director, or in fact any artist be expected to be any different? L.C. Tiffany and Leonardo would be incredibly disappointed, as would any number of high profile theatrical writer/directors
When did art become commerce?
When did we all start selling our souls to the highest bidder?