Actor Refers to Ron DeSantis as ‘Grand Wizard’ on Tony Awards


Actor Denée Benton took aim at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during Sunday’s Tony Awards telecast, referring to the Republican presidential hopeful as a “Grand Wizard” as she presented an award for theater education.

On CBS’ live telecast, Benton saluted the 2023 recipient of the excellence in theater education award, Jason Zembuch Young of South Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida. Benton noted that she is a Florida native and she made reference to DeSantis’ many controversial moves on civil rights in the state by connecting him to the Klu Klux Klan white supremacist organization.

“I’m certain that the curent grand wizard — I’m sorry, excuse me, governor of my home state of Florida,” Benton said, to a roar of applause from the crowd at New York’s United Palace Theater. She seemed to nod to DeSantis’ legislative push in Florida to enact racist and discriminatory policies restricting school curriculums on American history, among other disturbing moves during his time in office.

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