His attack on English people in the arts certainly stirred up the respective nationalist tribes - as he presumably wanted, Early attackers often did themselves no favours by labelling Gray as a racist without reading the essay, although defenders were often disingenuous in the extreme to suggest that offence was being manufactured by the recipients, rather than given by the perpetrator.
It is clear (I think) that Gray is not a racist, but someone of his huge writing talents must be aware of
It is a matter then of considerable regret, that a man of obvious talent, like Gray chooses to have a pop at the people he says control funding/commissioning of Scottish artistic talent on the basis of their place of birth and nationality. Had he done so on the basis of being fully paid-up members of the establishment there may have been more accuracy in his attacks, but to include people like Vicky Featherstone - Sansom’s predecessor as Director of NToS - indicates how far off the radar Gray has gone.
While one can have reservations about some of the directions taken by NToS at the beginning, (and surely any artistic venture must be given space to experiment?) surely the Director who funded and developed Black Watch has some understanding of Scottish culture? Interestingly enough, Black Watch director, John Tiffany also hails from South of the border (Yorkshire - in fact), and has had some pointed things to say about Gray’s comments - not the least of which is to identify the oft-ignored fact that many parts of England also feel badly ruled by London and the South.
Interestingly enough in a recent Herald article, Keith Bruce pointed out that choreographer, Matthew Bourne has asked some really serious points about Scottish national identity in his ballet Highland Fling. Indeed he (unusually) has let Scottish Ballet stage it (he normally reserves his work to his own company). It will not come as a surprise to readers that Matthew Bourne too, comes from anent these shores (Walthamstow, since you ask).
The kind of offensive polemic that Gray unleashed is not the tack that the two David’s will take. Although both are enthusiastic and impassioned political beings, I had to read the article to find out which was heading up which side of the debate! Hopefully we can look forward to articulated drama about the real issues - rather than where we were all born.