I am so sorry to the people of Fresno. What I said was thoughtless and careless and rude, and I am truly sorry. I never meant to offend anyone and I hope you can forgive me. pic.twitter.com/Edu90epqcM— Michael Wartella (@MikeWartella) March 21, 2019
He goes on to say that he comes from a community that's had its ups and downs and so, therefore, he can understand how his words would be hurtful.
He concludes by asking the people of Fresno to forgive him.
He also mentioned that he learned Broadway legend *Audra McDonald* is from Fresno, and says that's a testament to the entire community.
Thanks for this Michael. My hometown has a lot to offer and I hope you take advantage of folks offer to check it out! Go visit the Tower district!!! ❤️❤️ https://t.co/SIQ9OBQCnk— Audra McDonald (@AudraEqualityMc) March 21, 2019
She tweeted late Thursday afternoon quote, "Thanks for this Michael. My hometown has a lot to offer and I hope you take advantage of folks offer to check it out! Go visit the Tower district!!!"
Additionally, Fresno City Spokesman Mark Standriff offered to take Michael out on the town after the Saturday show.
.@WICKED_Musical is back in town - and one of the cast members had a little fun at Fresno’s expense. Here’s my official response (and I’m glad @MikeWartella has a great sense of humor!) pic.twitter.com/XoNJmc6LP3— Mark Standriff (@MarkStandriff) March 21, 2019
Michael tweeted him back and said in part "Mark, I would LOVE to see you after the show and take you up on your offer."
Finally, Broadway Across America put out this statement:
"All of us at Wicked couldn't disagree more with his opinions, which he has since apologized for. We love and appreciate all of our devoted fans across North America, especially here in the Central Valley."