public while driving real stars into obscurity; it handled plays, theaters and actors like factory products, and not began a process of vulgarizing and commercializing everything connected with the theater.
If space permitted, a number of opinions could be presented here from men like William Dean Howells, Norman Hapgood and Thomas Bailey Aldrich, whose concern was for the theater, but who voiced no other observation as to the racial influences at work.
Their concern was justified. It is quite possible that many who read this article are not interested in the theater, and are, in fact, convinced that the theater is a menace. Very well. What principally makes it a menace? This—that the stage today represents the principal cultural element of 50 per cent of the people. What the average young person absorbs as to good form, proper deportment, refinement as contrasted with coarseness, correctness of speech or choice of words, customs and feelings of other nations, even fashions of clothes, as well as ideas of religion and law, are derived from what he sees and hears at the theater. The masses’ sole idea of the homes and the life of the rich is derived from the stage and the movies. More wrong notions are given, more prejudices created by the Jewish controlled theater in one week, than can be charged against a serious study of the Jewish Question in a century. People sometimes wonder where the ideas of the younger generation come from. This is the answer.
As was just said, all the original opposers of this new control of the theater surrendered and left Mrs. Fiske to fight alone. She had, however, an ally in her husband, Harrison Grey Fiske, who was editor of the New York Dramatic Mirror.
Mrs. Fiske herself had said: “The incompetent men who have seized upon the affairs of the stage in this country have all but killed art, ambition and decency.”
Her husband wrote in his paper: “What then should be expected of a band of adventurers of infamous origin, of no breeding and utterly without artistic taste? * * * Let it be kept in mind that the ruling number of these men who compose the