Black Pussy Spark More Controversy After Calgary Show Announced

Black Pussy Spark More Controversy After Calgary Show Announced
Bringing to light the ongoing debate over the racist and sexist implications of Black Pussy's band name, Calgary venue the Palomino has come under fire from the local music community for booking a gig for the U.S. outfit next month.

The venue recently announced plans to bring Black Pussy to Calgary for a show on September 17. A Facebook event post describes the act as "a group of rock n' roll pot-smoking fun-loving long hairs that are passionate about art, creativity and the dynamic human spirit which refuses to submit." The band also played the venue in 2015.

While comments have been disabled on the event listing, online chatter shows that not everyone is excited about the concert.

UPDATE (8/18, 2:45 p.m. EDT): Following the public outcry, the venue has now cancelled the Black Pussy show. You can learn more about the cancellation here.

Organizers behind local feminist arts festival Femme Wave had planned on using the venue as part of its programming this November, but the repeat booking of Black Pussy has organizers now reporting that they're pulling their support of the Palomino. The group explained over Facebook that it's standing up for the marginalized, and that it wants "to create safer spaces and listen to folks in the community."

Similarly, Calgary's Society for the Advocacy of Safer Spaces (SASS) has come out to note its disappointment in the booking. Considering the band's name has been met with protest around Calgary, not to mention several other cities in North America, the society says that the Palomino "is not acting in the best interest of all of their patrons."

"Numerous people have come forward and to say the band's name is offensive and that it makes them and others in our community feel unwelcome and unsafe," the Facebook post reads, though SASS adds that it hopes to work with the Palomino in the future on events that don't "actively exclude community members."

Neither the Palomino nor Black Pussy have spoken up over the controversy.

Earlier this year, Toronto's Lido Pimienta called out the band over Twitter for their name's racist/sexist implications, but Black Pussy deflected her accusations, saying the name "doesn't mean anything." They'd previously explained that the song was named after the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" single, a song featuring a slavery theme that Mick Jagger has since gone on to regret. Throat singer Tanya Tagaq soon joined that online conversation, which led to a war of words between herself and Black Pussy.