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Friday 23 October 2020

Mail Drag Artist Smear EXPOSED

The effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the performing arts has been little short of catastrophic: no indoor live performances, so most live entertainment has ceased. From this, it follows that performers, and indeed the venues where they perform, have had their income streams more or less terminated until the country gets back to whatever will pass for the new normal. So Arts Council England have intervened.

George Ikediashi. Yes, he's a serious actor, too

So far, so routine, but then the posh white boys saw a gay black man receiving grant money from ACE, and the smears started. This exercise reached its nadir in the Daily Mail today as readers were toldThe drag artist who was handed £215,000 by the coronavirus culture fund: Arts Council England gives huge grant to performer who goes by the name Le Gateau Chocolat”. There are plenty of photos. So readers know he’s black.

Readers are also told “Arts Council England are distributing £500 million to cash-strapped venues … £215,000 went to Le Gateau Chocolat Ltd, run by performer George Ikediashi … But several renowned clubs and venues have had their applications rejected”, before the grudging addition of “The council defending the grant size saying it would go towards hiring freelancers to put on planned shows”. So it’s not just about one man.

Posh white hacks: David Churchill ...

Except that is how the article, under the by-lines of David Churchill and James Tozer, is framed. They make sure their audience knows “While snubbing popular cash-strapped venues applying for a share of its £500 million pot, Arts Council England gave the huge grant to George Ikediashi - who describes himself as ‘fat, black and bearded’”.

So he, by implication, can’t be popular and cash-strapped. Also, “The sum - which is more than seven times the average national salary - came despite the act never grossing even half that sum in a year”. By now, the not-really-racist-honestly buttons have been pressed, and with the knowledge that this is about an LBGTQ+ drag artist, the screaming-paranoia-at-anything-not-straight-and-white buttons soon will be.

... and James Tozer

So George Ikediashi can expect a suitably aggressive, racist and homophobic pile-on as a result. But all is not as it seems: even the Mail concedes at the end of its article - that is, after its audience has been told what to think and made its mind up - ACE’s reminder that “With this funding, Le Gateau Chocolat Ltd will put on a number of planned shows, which would involve employing a range of freelancers to produce and deliver work”.

In other words, it’s not just about one gay black man. But the story had already been shaped that way before it got to the Mail: the initial exposé had come from yet another posh white hack, Tom Harwood, replacement teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog. Harwood had told his audienceArts Council Gave £215,305 In Coronavirus Recovery To Solo Drag Act”, and laterArts Council Defends Handing £215,305 To One Drag Performer”. It was an “enormous pot of free money”.

What time is it Eccles?

So this story, such as it is, has been lifted from a borderline Fake News site in order to feed audience prejudice. Instead of being titled “The drag artist who was handed £215,000 by the coronavirus culture fund”, it should have read “Posh White Hacks Smear Gay Black Man No Shock Horror”. That would, at least, have had the benefit of accuracy.

Bigotry and dishonesty is the name of this particular game. No change there, then.

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Anonymous said...

The striking thing about far right racist tory gammon propagandists is just how SEEDY they are, how BITTER their faces, how PARANOID their mutterings.

What happened in their lives to turn them into such reprehensible hate-filled misuse of DNA?

Anonymous said...

Given that RuPaul's Drag Race was up for a BAFTA, I would suggest that a black man in drag is "popular" and that the racists and homophobes at the Mail don't know what the fuck they're talking about.