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How Samsung’s Cultural Divide Lead to the Worst Broadway Show in History

by Brandon Russell | March 18, 2013March 18, 2013 8:00 pm PST


The overall consensus is that Samsung’s Galaxy S4 event was not great. The broadway spectacle was meant to demonstrate easy, everyday ways to use the S4’s features, and it did that. But in the process it wound up stereotyping women in the worst possible way—a particularly botched opportunity following Sony’s “Guys Only” PlayStation 4 event.

Blame the executives at Samsung’s Korean headquarters, said Broadway veteran Jeff Calhoun, producer of the show. “There’s a cultural divide,” Calhoun explained, saying that the show was micromanaged down to the color socks cast members wore. Without input from Calhoun and his co-producer partner Ivan Menchell, Calhoun said they weren’t able to develop characters in the show, which eventually revealed how tech companies want to market to women. Women weren’t even considered by Samsung as possible MCs, Calhoun said.

The Verge has a thorough examination of the S4 event from the perspective of Calhoun, and how Samsung’s tight control ultimately led to the cringeworthy stereotypes that showed up on stage. It’s fascinating insight into a landscape that is still ultimately is male dominated.

“The art in this show helped the common man understand the use of this phone, and that was the goal,” said Calhoun. “I think everyone walked away thinking it was more successful than not.”


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...