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Tony Award Winner Reacts to F-Word Speech Getting Censored on TV

Tony Award Winner Reacts to F-Word Speech Getting Censored on TV

Michael Arden
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The 2023 Tony Awards censored the f-word during Michael Arden’s acceptance speech.

No f-words at the Tony Awards.

On Sunday, June 11, Michael Arden won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical for his work on Parade. However, the 76th Tony Awards telecast bleeped out a part of his acceptance speech for including the f-word gay slur.

“Growing up, I was called the f-word more times than I could remember,” Arden said in his speech. “And all I can say now is, I’m a faggot with a Tony!”

The latter sentence was censored on television. At the event, however, Arden’s speech was met with roaring applause and laughter from the audience.

Arden’s speech got a standing ovation from Ben Platt and Noah Galvin in the audience, and it was clear that other attendees enjoyed it as well.

This was Arden’s third nomination and first win at the Tony Awards. He was previously nominated in the Best Direction of a Musical category for his work on Spring Awakening in 2016 and Once on This Island in 2018.

Overall, this was a historic night for LGBTQ+ Broadway performers, with Alex Newell and J. Harrison Ghee becoming the first-ever nonbinary people to win a Tony Award. Sean Hayes also won an award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play.

Reclaiming our words, reclaiming our words!

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