Queer venues issue apologies after drag queen blackface scandal

scarlet adams perth rupaul's drag race down under blackface the court hotel connections nightclub
Photos: The Court Hotel/Stan

Two LGBTIQ venues in Western Australia have apologised after photos of drag queen Scarlet Adams and others wearing racist blackface on their stages resurfaced.

Perth drag queen Scarlet Adams is among the queens competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.

However Indigenous performer Felicia Foxx called out Adams and others in a viral Instagram post this month. The Sydney queen shared photos of Adams and others wearing blackface.

“It makes me sick to my core to see numerous people in the LGBTQ+ community who are profiting off of making a mockery and disrespecting people’s cultures,” Foxx wrote.

Scarlet Adams apologised last year for the racist outfit, which the performer wore on Australia Day in 2012.

Adams reiterated her apology again last week as the photos made international headlines due to her Drag Race casting.

Drag performers Dean Misdale (formerly Feminem the Future), Perri Prism (formerly Perri Oxide), Hannah Conda and others have also apologised for the past performances, according to OUTinPerth.

Connections Nightclub sorry for ‘abhorrent’ drag shows

Now two Perth venues have also apologised for hosting the past drag performances that featured blackface and cultural appropriation.

Long-running queer venue Connections Nightclub posted the “apology to the community” on its Facebook page.

“The use of blackface and the mockery of the Aboriginal community and flag is abhorrent to us as a business and inclusive venue,” management wrote in the post.

The venue’s management said anyone “presenting in such a derogatory and offensive way should never have been allowed to cross our threshold” and they regret not doing more at the time.

“Procedures, policies and standards have developed significantly in the intervening decade,” they wrote.

“We also need to reflect on a series of events where we used the traditional dress, make up and garments of several cultures that were not our own [including] China, India, Japan and Korea.

“These were as inappropriate then as at any other time. We never want to use other peoples’ culture or identity as a ‘theme’.

“We have already had a number of additional positive meetings with a range of organizations, groups and patrons and are working towards better outcomes to ensure the welcoming, inclusive culture that we strive to provide.”

Perth venue says offensive drag shows should not have happened

Perth LGBTIQ venue The Court Hotel also last week issued an apology for past drag performances on their stage.

“The Court strives to be a safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of sexuality, age, gender or race,” the venue’s management wrote.

“We celebrate differences in people and welcome people from all nationalities at the venue.”

The management said they “take responsibility for not stopping [the shows] when they occurred and we are truly sorry.”

“We unreservedly apologise for any offense caused by any performance at the venue that has not been culturally appropriate,” they wrote.

“These shows, quite simply, should not have happened.

“The Court has developed policies for both professional and amateur drags to ensure that the performers reflect the values of the venue.

“The management team have worked with the drag queens to ensure that racist and culturally inappropriate shows do not happen again on our stage.

“We hope this message goes towards healing for the hurt we have caused.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under is screening in Australia on Stan later this year.

Fellow Down Under queen Karen From Finance has also apologised for getting a racist “golliwog” tattoo which she’s since covered up.

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