Another day, another politician gets busted for wearing Blackface in their past.
It’s a story we’ve heard before, but a key difference here is that the politician in question–Honolulu City Councilman and comedian Augie Tulba–is the reason we know that he wore Blackface back in the day.
Most of the time, someone else is responsible for resurfacing and spreading around old yearbook photos of said politicians at costume parties, leading to ad nauseam apologies and explanations about how this was wrong then, is wrong now, and how much they’ve grown since then.
In Tulba’s case, he posted the Blackface video on his Instagram. He is the reason why KITV did a story about his transgressions. He gave himself his own L.
Tulba is coming under fire this week for a social media post in which he appears in black face. In the video, he also made jokes that offend some in the LGBTQ+ community.
The video is more than 10 years old. In it, Tulba plays multiple characters in the video titled Hawaii’s next top Mahu. One of them, a style guru Jay Jay and a contestant Mo’Unique.
The Instagram post in council member’s name reads: “We laughed so hard filming this segment. #FunTimes”
KITV spoke with Michael Golojuch, Jr., the chair of the Stonewall Committee for Hawaii’s Democratic Party, which advocates for the state’s LQBTQ+ community. He said Tulba needs to take ownership of the fact that he is now a public servant instead of solely a comedian.
“He took the step of reposting it over the weekend shows he’s very proud of it and he has no problem with it without looking at its totality, in what has transpired.”
Ken Lawson, a Civil Rights activist, told KITV that while he didn’t think it was Tulba’s intent to offend anyone, he needs to understand why the 10-year-old sketch might be offensive to people.
Tulba’s manager provided KITV the following statement on his behalf:
“This comedy skit was written, performed in, and endorsed by a trans sexual cast member of color nearly 15 years ago in a much different social climate. As many in Hawaii know, Augie is not only a proud father of two openly gay men, but also deeply supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. He has worked hard for three decades to make people of all backgrounds laugh, just as he works hard today to keep his community safe, positive and healthy.”
You can watch the video itself here, if you’d like.
Now, before you start going off about Cancel Culture (which, as Katt Williams perfectly pointed out, does not exist), and snowflakes, and this, that and the third, let me point out that all I’m trying to say here is that it’s OK to acknowledge that some things just haven’t aged well. Things change over time.
What people think is funny or unfunny changes, too. That’s fine!
I’m mostly just taken by the fact that dude DID THIS TO HIMSELF. No one dug up the video to try and get him out the paint. He reposted it himself!
That’s like Luke Walton and the former NBA player who will not be named here because I’m not trying to hear about it scoring on their own basket: embarrassing and completely avoidable.