According to the Associated Press, the Broadway League, a group that represents theater owners and producers, has decided that they will in fact honor the late Joan Rivers by dimming the marquee lights on Broadway.
On Monday, the Broadway League's executive director, Charlotte St. Martin, told The New York Times that they would not dim the lights for the groundbreaking comedienne who died Thursday at 81.
"Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theater, or else be synonymous with Broadway - people who made their careers here, or kept it up," St. Martin told the Times on monday. "We love Joan - she was very supportive of Broadway and came to a lot of show openings - but she hasn't acted on Broadway in 20 years. When you say Joan Rivers, you don't think comedy, television and Broadway. You think comedy and television. It's certainly nothing against her."
This sparked backlash against the decision. People took to Twitter decrying the League's choice with the hashtag #Dim4Joan. Harvey Firestein, Donna Murphy, and Cyndi Lauper came out in support of Joan receiving the posthumous honor. 10 out of 40 theaters said they would break with the leagues original decision and dim their lights anyway.
In response to the public outcry, the League changed its tune.
"Joan Rivers loved Broadway and we loved her," Charlotte St. Martin, the league's executive director, said in a statement. "Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight."
Rivers was not too much a stranger from the boards. She wrote and starred in 1971's short-lived Fun City and was in Neil Simon's Broadway Bound in 1988. She earned a Tony nomination in 1994 for her starring role in Sally Marr ... and Her Escorts, which she also penned.
The Broadway lights will dim tonight at 6:45 p.m.