Last week, Advocate.com posted an article describing an incident at The Wendy Williams Show. New York based performance artist and drag performer Erickatoure Aviance was in line on Wednesday, August 12th to attend a taping of the show when she was told
that her outfit was too flamboyant for the show's studio audience. Aviance was offended that the longtime host would have a policy that would exclude drag performers when Williams has joked in the past about how she resembles a drag performer. GLAAD responded to the incident reports it received and spoke personally to the show's production company, Debmar-Mercury.
After speaking with GLAAD, the executive involved in the incident issued a formal apology:
“Much of the success of The Wendy Williams Show is due to our incredibly diverse and colorful audience and we all agree that fashion is a true form of self expression. But in an attempt to explain and enforce our show's dress code, I was not as sensitive as I could have been to Ericka, the LGBT community or drag’s long history of being a target of discrimination. And for that, I sincerely apologize as it was never my intention to offend in any way.” ~ Lonnie Burstein, Executive Vice President, Programming & Production, Debmar-Mercury
GLAAD looks forward to working with Wendy Williams and Debmar-Mercury on ways it can foster its work within the LGBT community and improve the representation of the lives of LGBT people on its various shows.