[Ed. – Whatever happened to ‘imitation is the highest form of flattery’?]
An aspiring Montreal comedian has been told he cannot take part in shows at a university bar because his dreadlocks are a form of cultural appropriation.
The Coop les Recoltes, a bar and solidarity co-operative at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, confirmed on Facebook its decision to exclude Zach Poitras, who is white, because of his hairstyle. Poitras, denied a spot at the Snowflake Comedy Club and another evening of “engaged humour,” declined comment on the situation.
The bar is operated by the UQAM branch of the Public Interest Research Group, which focuses on environmental and social issues. In its Facebook statement, the co-operative says its mission is to be “a safe space, free of relationships of oppression.” It describes cultural appropriation as a form of violence.
“We will not tolerate any discrimination or harassment within our spaces,” it says. It defines cultural appropriation as when “someone from a dominant culture appropriates symbols, clothing or hairstyles that come from historically dominated cultures.”