‘Real Housewives’ Racist Blackface Costume Puts Charlotte Nightclub Under Fire
The owner of Scorpios, a gay nightclub in Charlotte, N.C., is being forced to defend two of his bartenders who dressed up in blackface in order to parody members of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The bartenders, Greg Fulk and Ian Hull, dressed as up Real Housewives cast members while working a pre-Halloween party, but wore blackface by donning dark facial makeup, red and pink wigs, and pink lipstick.
The club owner, Donald O’Shields, is shown posing next to the two bartenders in their blackface Halloween costumes. He said that the bartenders “regret” their choice of costumes now and “wouldn’t do it again” next year. O’Shields told the Charlotte Observer that he “was unaware people would take it that way” and also claimed much of the backlash on social media was started by a disgruntled man who worked at the Charlotte club as an entertainer.
However, Charlotte natives were outraged by the racist costumes because a large percentage of the patrons who attend the club are African-American. “If the African American dollar is the one that is paying the bills, then I can’t understand why they would do something as disrespectful as this,” said former customer Brandon Lii. Another former customer, Michael Weir, said he couldn’t believe “somebody would be that ignorant to do blackface after all of this that’s been going on.”
The blackface controversy comes just two weeks after Julianne Hough went as Orange is the New Black character “Crazy Eyes” (a.k.a. Suzanne) this year, appearing in blackface by darkening the skin on her face and neck. After immense backlash over the costume, the actress eventually issued an apology. “I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New Black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created,” she tweeted. “It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize.”