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After Controversy, Magic Castle Rethinks Its Approach To Anti-Racism Protests

Protesters outside the Magic Castle — Charlie Mount, right, is a magician and member of the institution. (Lexis-Olivier Ray for LAist)
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Beloved Hollywood venue the Magic Castle stumbled in its response to protests following the police killing of George Floyd, first issuing a statement that some members found lukewarm, then offering the LAPD the use the venue's parking lot.

After magicians and Magic Castle members held a protest outside the venue Thursday afternoon and the founder's daughter talked with members of the board, it issued a more full-throated statement in support of Black Lives Matter.

The Magic Castle noted in the new statement that, although their finances are strained, they wanted to take a tangible step. They pledged up to $50,000 in matching funds donated by members to social justice causes between now and the end of August. They also made sure to include three words that weren't in their original statement: black lives matter.

Both statements ended on a hopeful note. Their first: "The art of magic imagines that anything is possible — even a world that is fair." Their second, with a bit more humility: "United together in a common goal, we will acknowledge what we don’t know, and try to listen, learn and take steps toward positive change."

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