My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Al Jolson tribute act can't 'black up'....

More ridiculous political correctness...
A theatre was under fire after it banned an Al Jolson tribute act from 'blacking up' - claiming it is racist.

Singer Clive Baldwin was ordered to perform the entire show - dedicated to the US legend - without makeup.

Al Jolson famously blacked up for his role in 'The Singing Fool' show in 1928 and was the highest paid comic in America during the Depression.

His show popularised the convention of white actors performing in black makeup - famously copied in TV's the Black and White Minstrel Show in the 1960s and 70s.

But bosses at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, West Mids., told Mr Baldwin that black makeup is ''inappropriate in a modern multicultural society''.

John Wray, director of AIR productions who are putting on the show, said: ''It's a bit ridiculous, it's like having the Supremes and them all being white.

''It just that happens that it's an historical fact. It's not in any way derogatory. Many of the people involved in the show are black.''

Clive's show, 'The Living Voice of Al Jolson', was a 14-date nationwide tour which included performances in Aylesbury, Spennymoor, Dundee, Whitley Bay, Selkirk and Middlesborough.

He usually blacks up for the second part of the show, which involves him singing Al Jolson favourites 'Climb up on my knew sonny boy' and 'Mammy'.

The Belgrade Theatre was the only venue to ban him from blacking up for the final night of the tour on October 31.

Anthony Flint, director of Belgrade Theatre, defended the decision.

He said: ''We were asked if we wanted Mr Baldwin to use black face makeup or not and we decided it would be inappropriate in a modern multicultural society for him to do so.


Blogger CanadianSense said...

Perhaps some people are not comfortable with our past.

This is a teaching moment if done in good taste.

Too bad some think political correctness is more important than historical accuracy.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Philanthropist said...

Everything written, every piece of film, and all recordings of Al Jolson should be permanently destroyed so as not to offend the multiculturalists.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous DV said...

It's historically accurate, but it's also racist and offensive! C'mon, an tribute to someone in black face will NEVER be "done in good taste". I would never wear blackface, even for historical accuracy! I can't imagine how that would make my black friends feel. Would you dress up as a Nazi for Halloween with your Jewish friends? Sometimes respect for your friends and their feelings is more important than historical accuracy.

7:51 AM  
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7:02 AM  

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