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Gay white comedian's minstrel show canceled after protest

KnippBy Stacy Gilliam, BET

Charles Knipp and his racist show were shut down on Thursday, following a raging protest against the White gay comedian, who performs in blackface as a woman named “Shirley Q. Liquor.”

Knipp angered the Black community with his minstrel-style performance, which promoted the worst stereotypes of Black women – as being on welfare, living in the projects, illiterate, shoplifting sexually promiscuous mothers who don’t know who their children’s fathers are, alcoholics and drug addicts. As “Shirley,” Knipp also mocks Kwanzaa and in a skit titled “Who Is My Baby Daddy,” Knipp likens traditional African-American names to sexually transmitted diseases.

Knipp was scheduled to bring “Shirley” to the Factory Nightclub in L.A. during Black History Month, before civil rights groups such as Rainbow PUSH Coalition and SCLC of Greater Los Angeles cried out in opposition.

Activists are now applauding the nightclub for canceling the performance.

"I am glad that the Factory management has come to its senses and cancelled what was clearly a racist show," commented community activist and protest organizer Jasmyne Cannick.  "While Shirley Q. Liquor may be popular in the South, this is Los Angeles and African-Americans here were not going to take this lying down.  The misrepresentation of our community has gone on for far too long. It's acts like Knipp's that promote negative stereotypes of Blacks andm considering our recent issues with race relations, this is the last thing that we needed."

The protest was led by a coalition of community organizations including: The SCLC of Greater Los Angeles, L.A. Urban Policy Roundtable, Gentlemen's Gentlemen In the Meantime Men's Group, Youth Advocacy Organization, Out & About, South Bay Chapter Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. 

The West Hollywood City Council is due to pass a resolution strongly discouraging the booking of Charles Knipp at its next city council meeting on Feb. 5.


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