White Singer ‘Blacks up’ for Beyoncé Tribute; Sparks Outrage

Leanne Harper took to the stage as ‘Beyoncee’ at Cambridge University college, United Kingdom.

3 min read

Leanne Harper as Beyoncé. (Photo courtesy: Facebook)

A white singer "blacked up" for American pop sensation Beyonce's tribute act at a Cambridge University college, an incident that sparked outrage and prompted an apology from the organisers of the event at the prestigious varsity.

Cambridge's Robinson College was forced to apologise after the white singer was accused of 'blacking up' for the Beyonce performance at their May Ball.

Leanne Harper took to the stage as 'Beyoncee' at the college's annual May Ball event on Friday night.

Beyonce’s look-alike, Leanne Harper. (Photo courtesy: Twitter)
Beyonce’s look-alike, Leanne Harper. (Photo courtesy: Twitter)

But the tribute singer immediately outraged some party- goers who quickly took to social media to share their disgust at her apparently using cosmetics to darken her skin, the Cambridge News reported.

Lola Olufemi, incoming women's officer for the college, tweeted, "I don't kno (sic) what smacked more, the fact that in 2017 organisers couldn't do a common google search to check the validity of their performer.

"Or being reminded, even at one of your final events @cambridge, surrounded by friends you love, that black people at this univ get no REST".

Beyonce at a concert. (Photo: Reuters)
Beyonce at a concert. (Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)

"Imagine I paid money to see a white woman pretend to be Beyoncé & my white peers hooting and hollering dancing along like it's nothing," she said.

This is not the first time Harper has sparked controversy. Only last month she had to cancel a performance at Durham Pride over huge public backlash to her appearance by students.

At the time, Harper was quoted saying, "Never in all the years have I had anything like this before. I only put on St Tropez tan like I would for a night out." Harper began her set at 3.50 AM on Saturday morning as part of Robinson College's Circus Night themed event.

Tickets to the do, available to current students and alumni, cost up to 125 pounds to include a meal, with a standard price of 100 pounds.

The event's website read, "As the sun sets on Friday 16 June the Night Circus will arrive at Robinson College for one night and one night only."

Olufemi confirmed that organisers of the performance apologised.

In a statement, the presidents of the Robinson May Ball Committee, Tasha Robinson and Becky Mackett, said,

We would like to sincerely apologise for any offence caused by the Beyonce tribute act at Robinson May Ball.” “This was a bona fide act booked through a recognised agency, and no offence was intended by any member of the committee or anyone associated with it. We will happily receive any comments or issues raised by attendees and those affected. We will be working with next year’s committee to avoid similar occurrences.

(With inputs from PTI)

(This admission season, The Quint got experts from CollegeDekho.com on board to answer all your college-related queries. Send us your questions at eduqueries@thequint.com)

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