Shakespeare, so the theory goes, did not speak Italian and assumed that the name "Moro" meant that Otello was a Moor. If this had been the case, he might perhaps have been called "Otello il Moro". It is the difference between "John Black" and John the Black".
If this theory is correct, then the answer to Mr Lister's question is "yes, it is wrong to black up for Othello" and it is even more wrong, from the historical point of view, to get a black man to play the part.
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