Ventriloquist Uses Blaccent, Jokes About 'Colored People' With Black Puppet

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A white ventriloquist is facing backlash after using a blaccent and playing on racist stereotypes with a Black puppet during a performance at a Chicago bar.

Videos circulating online of the event at Touché, a leather bar in Chicago, show ventriloquist Jerry Halliday performing with his "colorful cast of characters" including a caricature-like Black puppet called "Sista Girl."

According to the footage and a Twitter thread from an alleged audience member, Halliday made jokes about “colored people" having many kids and an "afro puff" around their genitals while he imitated a Black woman's voice. Some audience members stood up and walked out during the performance that is being described by a number of social media users as "minstrelsy and blackface."

Amid the widespread backlash, Touché apologized in a statement for “not vetting the entertainer” and “not reacting and stopping the show."

"Last night at Touché’s 45th-anniversary celebration, puppeteer Jerry Halliday included racist and transphobic puppets and jokes in his act," the statement reads. "We deeply regret not vetting the entertainer prior to the event. We apologize for not reacting and stopping the show."

The Chicago bar said it plans to organize a forum for community members to voice their concerns.

“We hope that you will allow us the opportunity to prove our resolve in going forward and not permit this one night to overshadow the service Touché has provided to our community for 45 years,” their statement concludes.

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