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Man at centre of carnival race row says it is 'PC gone mad'

By CG_Caroline  |  Posted: July 18, 2014

Jason Luke

Comments (16)

The mate who ‘blacked up’ with a pub landlord to take part in Truro City Carnival has rubbished critics - saying it was "PC gone mad".

Publican of the Miners Arms Kevin Stevens has apologised after prompting offence by their actions, which included ‘blacking up’ and donning an afro-style wig.

But his friend Jason Luke, 31, who went along to the carnival dressed as Serena Williams, has defended the costumes and branded the reaction to their appearance as “PC gone mad.”

Mr Luke, a builder, said: “I don't get it at all. It's just as well I didn't go as Boris Becker and upset the gingers.”

Friends and staff at the pub in Redruth decided to dress up as tennis stars from across the world as part of their ongoing charity work.

But the inclusion of the two men dressed as the famous American sisters has sparked controversy.

The father-of-one from Redruth said the group was raising money for charity at the event - but their efforts had been ignored because of the uproar.

"We've got an ongoing thing at the Miners Arms and we're trying to raise for CLIC, a charity for children with leukaemia.”

"I've seen us in the local papers this morning - I'm mortified really but it takes away from a good cause. Over the years we've raised thousands for the charity. I'm gutted

"Like Kevin said the last thing we wanted to do was upset anyone but I don't think what we did was racist. I don't see the big issue - it's PC gone mad.”

He added: "One of the reasons we went to the carnival as well was because it had been struggling recently.

"We wanted to get the thing going again. And this is what's happened. What can you do?"

Hundreds of people across Cornwall have leapt to the defence of the men but the Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall said the performance was offensive to all ethnicities.

Dean Harvey, from the Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall, said: “The whole concept of blackened face is steeped in racial prejudice and stereotype from minstrels to golliwogs and so on.

“It is not just a bit of fun, it is offensive to people of all ethnicities and it’s time we moved on from this.

“These two guys were not representative of Cornwall, only unfortunately serving to remind us of times gone by that we should acknowledge and move on from.”

The pub’s governor Mr Stevens has already apologised, declaring their intention was never to offend anyone.

The 50-year-old said the pub prides itself in being the friendliest in Cornwall and was a very open-minded watering hole.

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  • StanStill  |  July 21 2014, 1:31PM

    Harvey appears to be the leader of the Jobsworths, typical of a nit picker with nothing better to do.

    |   34
  • StanStill  |  July 21 2014, 1:22PM

    I do wish the PC Brigade would bogoff to some very remote island thousands of miles away, they are all petty Jobsworths who have nothing better to do than sit on their behinds and try to think up something to complain about.

    |   3
  • break  |  July 20 2014, 8:25PM

    God help us when Halloween comes, we might offend the witches and pumpkins.

    |   6
  • IainS  |  July 20 2014, 7:41PM

    Dean Harvey is a black person. The fact that he was insulted is enough.

    |   -47
  • senseandsense  |  July 20 2014, 12:36PM

    I agree rickoon, prejudices have built up over time. As someone who liven in the North for several years, most people assumed because I had a Cornish accent that I must have been working on a farm. Look at Doc Martin, the indigenous Cornish are portrayed as in bred half wits, with their matching their shoe size. Its a comedy and should be taken as such.

    |   15
  • lionbar  |  July 20 2014, 10:26AM

    4 people complained.... thousands didn't !!

    |   4
  • parsnippasty  |  July 19 2014, 10:47PM

    I agree with the comments below,. How often are we Cornish mocked in print and on TV without us creating a fuss?

    |   6
  • Seaem  |  July 19 2014, 10:02AM

    I'm a bit worried about putting my Father Christmas costume now in case I upset someone. What a load of "B". Why doesn't the Council for Racial Equality get a life.

    |   14
  • Anyone  |  July 19 2014, 9:12AM

    It is time that Dean Harvey, from the Council for Racial Equality in Cornwall and others like him to get a grip on reality, there was nothing wrong here, this is PC gone bleddy mad. Common sense needs to prevail. Long may those at the Miners Arms, continue to raise monies for their charity. The complainers should be ashamed of themselves and crawl back into their holes

    |   21
  • sanctuary  |  July 19 2014, 8:52AM

    All I will say is that Jason Luke is better looking than Serena Williams

    |   15