This article examines recent controversies sparked by the critical reception of work by Global Majority theatre artists in Canada and the USA, including Yolanda Bonnell, Yvette Nolan, and Antoinette Nwandu. It argues that, when faced with works that fall outside of their presumed expertise and experience, critics commonly resort to a strategy of critical disengagement, which displaces the focus from the work and refuses to evaluate it on its own terms. Through an analysis of case studies, we elucidate the concept of critical disengagement and its three distinct categories, ‘othering,’ ‘imposing’, and ‘self-staging’. These acts are representative of larger patterns in dominant theatre criticism practices, which are descended from neoclassical and Enlightenment formulations of criticism, and centre around the ideals of fair judgement and critical objectivity. When applied to the work of Global Majority theatre artists by a largely white critical establishment, they enact, consolidate, and reproduce what Gayatri Spivak calls epistemic violence. During this pivotal moment, as theatre communities in the Global North respond to calls for racial justice and decolonization, this article sheds light on the often overlooked role of criticism in sustaining white supremacy within theatre production and reception, and stresses the urgent need to re-imagine critical practices. Signy Lynch is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Toronto Mississauga and recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal (York University, 2022). She has published articles on theatre criticism and intercultural theatre in Contemporary Theatre Review, Canadian Theatre Review, and Theatre Research in Canada. Michelle MacArthur is associate professor at the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Art. She has published articles in Contemporary Theatre Review, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Theatre Review, and several edited volumes. She is the editor of Voices of a Generation: Three Millennial Plays (Playwrights Canada Press, 2022).