By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com August 25 2009 5:25 AM ET
An executive with The Wendy Williams Show has issued a formal apology to drag queen and performance artist Erickatoure Aviance, who was told at a taping of the show that she would be removed from the audience if she tried to appear on camera.
The executive told Aviance the show had a strict "no costumes" policy but allowed her to attend the taping if she agreed to not appear on camera or draw attention to herself.
Lonnie Burstein, executive vice president of programming and production for Debmar-Mercury, the company behind The Wendy Williams Show, issued the following statement to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
“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.”
Williams has long aligned herself with the gay community, even comparing herself to a drag queen on numerous occasions.
Advocate.com originally reported on this incident earlier this month. Read that article in its entirety here.