A Toronto drag performer is angry after he was fired as drag queen for the TD Canada Trust Pride Toronto festival after being accused of performing in "blackface."
Drag queen Daytona Bitch told Xtra he was fired in an email from the marketing company that booked her June 24 performance at a Toronto gay bar, which according to the company was “not at all well received by the LGBT community”.
According to a June 26 email from Diamond Integrated Marketing, the performance was against the TD's "longstanding commitment to diversity."
Bitch said his character, Miss Cleo, a black American psychic, wasn't an example of blackface.
"The people I asked at Crews & Tangos thought it was hilarious that I was dressed as a big fat black woman", he told Xtra.
Bitch said he has received death threats.
This isn't the first time a Toronto drag artist has come under fire for performances.
Toronto drag queen Donnarama has been called "Islamophobic" over the content of some of his shows, one of which involved him wearing a type of burka and fake bombs accompanied by the sound of explosions, according to blogger Rahim Thawer.
"I know I'm not the only one that was angry and knows very clearly how problematic this is", Thawer wrote in a December HuffPost blog.
Donnarama and Daytona Bitch appear together in a web series for Xtra called 'Project Dumpster', in which the two drag queens promise to "make over" a housewife who has stumbled into the alley where they work.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of the story used the pronoun 'she' to refer to Daytona Bitch and Donnarama, but it has been changed to recognize that drag queens are men that perform as women, but identify as men.
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