Tuesday, September 12, 2017

British conductor is sacked by US university for 'being racist' - even though the black singer friend who was butt of his joke says he thought it was funny

A British conductor has been fired from his job directing a prestigious American music festival after being branded racist over a joke, his friend says.

Matthew Halls, who was educated and taught at Oxford, was hired in 2014 as artistic director at the Oregon Bach Festival which is run by the University of Oregon.

But he has now been fired after a joke he made with African American friend and singer Reginald Mobley was overheard by a white woman and reported as racist.

Mr Mobley, who is from Florida, has since spoken out to defend his friend, saying Mr Halls was 'victimised' and the jibe had nothing to do with race.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: 'It was an innocent joke that has been entirely taken out of context.'

Mr Mobley told the paper that the incident took place back in July while the pair were talking following this year's Bach Festival.

They began discussing a concert Mr Mobley had recently performed at in London, when the countertenor said he thought it had presented a rose-tinted vision of the pre-Civil War South.

Mr Halls had jokingly 'apologised on behalf of England' for the miscalculation, before asking 'do you want some grits?' in an exaggerated southern accent.

'I'm from the deep south and Matthew often makes fun of the southern accent just as I often make fun of his British accent,' Mr Mobley said.

'Race was not an issue. He was imitating a southern accent, not putting on a black accent, and there was nothing racist or malicious about it.'



Anonymous said...

Some idiots are always ready to jump in on behalf of others who do not want their interference.

Bird of Paradise said...

Our universities suck their run by the ultra liberal snowflakes and whinging little twats its time to totaly defund them by 100% lets send that money to the Hurrucane victims instead