Three days after the Dallas Observer spoke to controversial Portland band Black Pussy and an organizer for the 35 Denton musical festival, which had booked them to play next month, the festival has announced that it is removing the band from the lineup.
A press release issued by 35 Denton late this afternoon stated:
Today, 35 Denton Music Festival decided to remove the band Black Pussy from our 2016 lineup. We are confident in our booking team and the selections they have made. However, after learning more about this band and receiving feedback from our community, we do not feel they are the right fit for our festival, our town, or our culture.
Our first priority is providing a safe and fun fest environment where all feel welcome. We apologize to anyone we offended or concerned by the initial inclusion of this band in our lineup and want to be clear in stating that we do not support racism or sexism in any form.
- 35 Denton Music Festival
Neither the band nor festival organizers have replied to messages seeking comment on the decision.
Earlier, 35 Denton marketing director Andy Odom compared Black Pussy's name, which has been criticized as both racist and sexist (the band consists entirely of white males), to other bands that had played the festival. "When the Flaming Lips performed their free outdoor show to 10,000 fans and families [the festival in 2010], they walked on stage out of a giant vagina," he said. "Local bands like Black James Franco have performed, yet they are neither black nor James Franco. None of these caused a problem."
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Black Pussy singer Dustin Hill was unapologetic about the name, which he described as having a "'70s feel, a blaxploitation feel, a Tarantino type of feel," and said the band had no plans to change it. “I can accept someone’s perception," he added. "But I cannot see from their perception, because it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.”