Social Psychopathologies Lose at the Tony Awards


The winners of the 2023 Tony Awards showed that social psychopathologies are the real losers.



The Tony Awards are given each year for excellence in live Broadway theatre.

This year, Tom Stoppard’s "Leopoldstadt" won the Tony Award for best play. It was admittedly semi-autobiographical for the playwright, who is now 85 years old. Only late in his life did he learn about his Jewish background, which his mother hid in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Historically, including during the Spanish Inquisition, hiding one’s Jewish identity was often a survival strategy.

In a clear connection between the personal and social, "Leopoldstadt" is the story of a Jewish family, not too much different from Stoppard’s family, who went from assimilation and success in Austria to concentration camps and destruction. Stoppard survived and thrived, but anti-Semitism is rising once again.

My wife and I were fortunate to see the show. As distressing as the story was, it is necessary from an educational and moral standpoint.

The other anti-Semitism loss was the win for “Parade,” which received a Tony for best musical revival. The show originally premiered in 1998, when it won Tony’s Best Book and Best Original Score but closed in 1999. The show tells the story of Leo Frank, an innocent Jewish man lynched in Georgia for the murder of a 13-year-old girl in 1913.

Despite our recent time of anti-Trans legislation, 2 nonbinary performers won for the first time. J. Harrison Ghee won a Tony for best performance in a leading musical role in “Some Like it Hot.” The other winner and anti-Trans loss was Alex Newell for featured actor in the musical “Shucked.”

Although there may be backlash against these awardees and the Tonys, if there were Stevie Awards for Social Psychiatry, these awardees would be winners in that category too.

May we support these causes. Mental well-being for many will depend on social psychopathologies like anti-Semitism and anti-Trans being losers.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. To create a better world, he is an advocate for treating mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.

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