Entertainment » Culture

Drag Queens on TV? Thanksgiving is Cancelled!

by Bobby McGuire
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Nov 29, 2013

2013 will go down in history as a year of many firsts from the resignation of a sitting pope to a record-breaking 16,000 figure of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But, for a group of stalwart homophobes with high speed internet connections, 2013 will be remembered as the year that Broadway ruined the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Ultra conservative "news" outlet World Net Daily reported "Snoopy, Spider-Man, SpongeBob - the iconic big balloons of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade took to the air Thursday at half their standard height due to high winds - but spirits of the young spectators were still flying high at the sight of their favorite cartoon characters. [..] Wide-eyed kids looked with wonder as the massive floats slowly wound down the streets of New York City. [..] And then the singing drag queens in thigh-high red boots hit the parade route."

The appearance by the cast of the Broadway smash musical "Kinky Boots" was to be a high point of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast, offering out-of-towners and New Yorkers alike a chance to catch a glimpse of the ultra sold-out smash show. Tony Award-winner Billy Porter and the cast of last season's best musical performed the Broadway tuner's finale in full costume in front of mega retailer Macy's iconic flagship store to the delight of a packed crowd in Herald Square and a TV audience of millions.

However, the positive message of the show's finale anthem "Raise You Up/Just Be," penned by pop icon Cyndi Lauper (which include the lyric "Accept yourself and you'll accept others too"), escaped and infuriated some hard-line conservatives who wasted no time weighing in with their opinions on message boards and social media.

Moderated internet forum Free Republic," a favorite site for hate groups, posted the following malaprop jeweled comment.

UGH!!!! -- Macy's Day Parade Promotes Gay Musical "Kinky Boots"

"So I sit down to watch the Macy's Day parade with my 9 yr old daughter, a 40+ year tradition for me, and NBC and Macy's decide the 3rd act will be the musical act from Kinky Boots, promoting homosexuality and cross dressing. It took about 2 seconds for my daughter to see that something was not quite right when she noticed the cross dressing Cabernet singer. 'Dad, that's a man, and he's kinda creepy.'"

Authors note: Yes, you read correctly - he wrote "cabernet."

A YouTube user (whose profile photo features a photoshopped Mister Rogers giving the camera his middle finger") wrote:

"Some marginal part of the US population needs to be accepted because of self-esteem issues! Solution? Ram LGBTQ propoganda down your throat through public events while the world is going to shit!"

An EW.com reader wrote:

"It is un-family and un-called for to feature the "Kinky Boots" segment!! !'m just "thankful" my kids didn't see it. I'm appalled. On a day when we are all trying to enjoy our family, we shouldn't have to explain that segment to our children! Poor taste!"

On the other end of the opinion spectrum is "Kinky Boots" book writer, multiple Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein who tweeted:

"KINKY BOOTS performed at the MACYS PARADE today. 10 years ago I appeared as MRS SANTA CLAUS. 3 cheers for MACY'S! U make us proud!"

In spite of all the conservative uproar, it appears that Fierstein and his collaborators Cyndi Lauper and Jerry Mitchell are having the last laugh. Last month, producers of "Kinky Boots" announced that in less than a year, the musical recouped all of it's $13.5 million investment.

"We're so happy that audiences have embraced Kinky Boots in such an overwhelming way," said lead  producers Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig. "We're proud that this show offers people such great joy, Tony Award-winning talent, and financial success."


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