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Cabaret act accused of ‘blackface’ retires from performing at London venue

Joseph McCormick December 14, 2015

A cabaret act accused of using “blackface” will no longer appear at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) in London.

Charlie Hides’ character Laquisha Jonz, will no longer appear at the RVT after a campaign to stop future performances was launched on Change.org.

Laquisha

The change.org petition was started by Chardine Taylor-Stone last week and has been signed by over a thousand people.

Taylor-Stone writes on the petition: “Laquisha Jonz is a racist act based on misogynist stereotypes of Black working class women, it is outdated, offensive, shameful and has no place in the LGBT Community.”

The petition also calls out “The Two Brewers, Clapham, Eden Bar, Birmingham and others”, as having booked the act in the past.

Taylor-Stone writes: “From Stonewall to today, LGBT people of colour have been on the front lines fighting against homophobia. By booking this act, these venues are holding this history in contempt.”

“The LGBT community is more than just White gay men and we all should be able to feel that we are safe and respected when attending places that are meant to be for ALL of us,” it continues.

Hides says he has retired the act after consulting with fellow artists, and venue owners.

Since the petition was started, the RVT has released a statement saying Jonz would no longer appear at the venue.

The statement from James Lindsay, the chief executive of the RVT, reads: “RVT has been monitoring the ongoing situation with regard to complaints about the act Laquisha Jonz.

“Our venue is steeped in rich LGBTQ history, and we pride ourselves on supporting the community as a whole. It is for this reason that the character of Laquisha Jonz will in the immediate term not perform at RVT.

“We fully support Charlie Hides as our Sunday Social headline act. Charlie is a talented and innovative performer, and he will continue to perform on Sunday.

“Going forward, we would be happy to discuss any further issues at the venue, in an open or closed forum. It is also my intention to also speak with the solid, loyal customers who regularly support the venue.”

At time of publication, other venues had not responded to the petition.

More: drag, laquisha jonz, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, RVT

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