Overture Center’s ‘Tommy Awards’ severs ties with Tom Wopat
MADISON, Wis. — A performing arts program named for a “Dukes of Hazzard” actor and Wisconsin-native will sever ties with him, according to a news release.
The Overture Center for the Arts in Madison said the Tommy Awards, a high school musical awards program, will no longer be connected with Tom Wopat.
“Given the recent news surrounding Mr. Wopat, Overture Center for the Arts has severed all ties with him,” according to a news release from Overture Monday.
Wopat was arrested and pleaded not guilty in August in Waltham, Massachusetts , accused of alleged indecent assault, battery and a drug charge, CNN reported. A court appearance in the case scheduled Monday was delayed, WCVB-TV reported .
The Overture said when it started the Tommy Awards in 2009, staff asked Wopat if the organization could use his name and endorsement of the program to inspire young Wisconsinites into performing arts careers. According to the release, Wopat agreed. Since that time, he hasn’t participated or supported the program financially.
After the allegations in August, Overture said it removed Wopat’s signature from the program and partner website, plus all its print materials.
The Tommy Awards is a nationally recognized youth musical theater program and several Tommy Awards recipients have grown into career musical theater professionals. The Overture said that the program “has always kept the best interest of involved students and schools in mind to maintain a positive, inspirational experience.”
Overture plans to rename the program in 2019 during its 10-year anniversary, but didn’t say what it would be called.
A holiday show scheduled Dec. 2 featuring Wopat at the Stoughton Opera House was canceled, venue representatives said earlier this month.
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