The Drama Desk leadership dragged its heels all day but finally relented tonight and reinstated the rights of previously gagged member Matthew Murray to access the group's e-mail listserve. Early this morning, its board of directors promised to reinstate both members who'd been censored because they spoke critically of Drama Desk leaders to Gold Derby — Leonard Jacobs and Murray — but cleared only Jacobs in the morning. For the rest of today, Gold Derby waited and waited for leaders to make good on their separate promise to Murray, who frequently checked the listserve and gave us lack-of-progress reports. At 8:11 p.m. we received this e-mail from him: "I have finally been reinstated on the Drama Desk mailing list." Congrats, Matthew!
Murray was among several notable members who spoke candidly to Gold Derby about their leaders' dubious activities, which the chiefs refused to discuss when I contacted them again and again. Instead, the president of this media organization comprised of theater journalists responded by striking back at two members, cutting off their access to the Drama Desk listserve after one of them sent members a link to Gold Derby's report. An outcry ensued, and growing publicity forced the Drama Desk to reconsider its censorship of journalist members.