Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Fury as fancy dress winner wore blackface



An Airdrie pub has been heavily criticised for sharing a photograph of a man wearing blackface – who was chosen as the winner of its Halloween fancy dress competitio­n last weekend.

The man dressed as TV personalit­y Mr T for the event at The Staging Post on October 30, and was pictured in a now-deleted post on the bar’s Facebook page holding a cash prize and being congratula­ted on being named as the winner.

People expressing dissent and upset about the offensive costume in comments on the original post say that they received defensive responses, with one woman saying these included being told to “lighten up” and “get over herself ”.

Elaine Austin-hartwell, who is of Caribbean English heritage, told the Advertiser’s sister paper the Daily Record: “We did try to talk to them, but we were mocked and blocked.

“The fact [the business] posted the photo makes them responsibl­e. “It’s just so wrong and rotten. “I don’t want this pub to think that this is OK and other pubs then to think it’s OK. I want it to stop.

“I feel like we don’t matter when people say things like ‘lighten up’ or ‘get over it.’

“When you try to talk to someone about doing something racist, people turn round and attack you and say you are wrong.

“This is 2021. If it was 1970 when people did not really understand, that would be different, but people have been warned at Halloween to not do this but still do and think it’s OK.”

She added of the costume: “It’s not even done well.

“There are so many other people he could have been – why did he have to choose Mr T?

“He could have worn gold chains, a mohawk, big muscles and people could say, ‘that’s a white Mr T’, but he did not need to make it blackface and take it that far.

“We don’t have to put on the colour.

“The mockery of it just needs to stop.

“People of colour have always been the butt of the joke in British humour.”

A spokespers­on for The Staging Post told the Daily Record: “We’re hugely sorry.

“The competitio­n was judged

by a third party and we took the photograph off our Facebook page as soon as we were made aware.

“We pride ourselves on being an inclusive community pub at the heart of Airdrie, supporting a number of local charities and sports teams, and there is no room for any form of discrimina­tion at

The Staging Post.” The man pictured in the photograph, named only as Dylan alongside the picture shared on Facebook, declined to comment when asked.

The concept of “blacking up” is viewed by many academics as a relic of dominance and ridicule of slave population­s and the practice is condemned as racist.

 ?? ?? Racism row The winner of the pub’s fancy dress competitio­n
Racism row The winner of the pub’s fancy dress competitio­n

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