Miss Burlesque Australia revoke titles from Scarlet Adams, reveal new policies

Miss Burlesque Australia have released a statement this week, announcing changes to their policy and their competitions to improve inclusion and safety for Bla(c)k, Indigenous and POC competitors and audiences.

The announcement comes as images of title holder Scarlet Adams performing racist acts and appropriating cultural dress have reemerged in light of the drag queen’s casting on the debut season of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under.

“Miss Burlesque Australia takes place on Indigenous land and we stand in solidarity with our First Nations community and all Peoples of Colour,” the statement reads.

“Miss Burlesque Australia celebrates diversity and maintains policy against cultural appropriation. While our commitment in the past has been to not allow these acts on our stages, we realise that there is more we must be doing to support cultural competency and allow authentic representation of marginalised communities within the burlesque industry.”

“Miss Burlesque Australia wishes to apologise deeply for the hurt that this has caused to the people’s targeted in these acts and for the ongoing emotional labour of all people who are Indigenous, Bla(c)k and People of Colour when these matters are brought to light. We acknowledge that apology alone is not enough.”

The organisation list a number of key actions to be taken to address racism and inclusivity, including revoking the titles of Miss Burlesque Western Australia and Miss Burlesque Australia from Adams, supporting greater representation through waiving application fees for BIPOC, people with disability and gender diverse folks, updating their application process to identify past transgressions and redirecting application fees towards cultural competency programs.

“There is more work to do, but we are really excited about the positive future we can create together!”

“We are facilitating further conversations and dialogue and are open to community discussion. If you have further thoughts that you wish to raise please contact National Producers Melanie Piantoni and Alyssa Kitt: [email protected] or [email protected]

“We wish to extend our deepest gratitude to our State Producers Daddy Doe and Jazida for their hard work leading up to this statement and the conversations with advisory groups of people who are Indigenous, Black and People of Colour community.”

OIP Staff


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