PFA Awards row takes new twist

30 April 2013 08:48

The row over Reginald D Hunter's appearance at the PFA Awards took a fresh twist on Tuesday night when the agency who booked the controversial comedian accused him of going against its wishes by using offensive language during his act last weekend.

Hunter, a black comedian from Georgia in the United States, stunned some members of the audience that had gathered to watch him perform at the glittering awards ceremony in London on Sunday night with his repeated use of the n-word. The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) claimed that Hunter had refused to adhere to guidelines, laid out to the comedian by the PFA and the agency that booked him - London Speaker Bureau - in a conference call with all three parties prior to the event.

The London Speaker Bureau released a statement which read: "The London Speaker Bureau supports the PFA's statement in that Reginald's use of language was not what was discussed as acceptable on the briefing call with the the PFA. We regret any offence caused by the performance at The PFA Awards Ceremony."

PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle said he was "embarrassed" to sit through Hunter's act, describing the decision to book the comedian as a "big mistake".

The organisation is thought to have discussed the matter with its lawyers and is said to be considering asking Hunter for the money back that it paid him to perform at the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair.

Hunter, who has won many awards and regularly appears on BBC shows like Live at the Apollo and Have I Got News for You, did not seem perturbed by the criticism that has come his way.

On Tuesday evening he posted two albums on his official Facebook page mocking those who have criticised him over the set. The first album showed pictures of him performing at the awards ceremony, which he described as "Irony's Annual Night Off".

One picture showing him drinking had a caption underneath that read: "Reginald D Hunter washing out the dirty taste of racism with a little ginger ale." The second album, entitled "The PFA Awards - the horrible aftermath" contained pictures of Hunter posing for photos with smiling guests.

One showed Hunter sharing a warm embrace with a happy guest, with the caption: "This fan grabs a hold of an apparent racist." Another picture, again with a smiling audience member, read: "This PFA attendee prepares to burn a Reginald D Hunter effigy."

The PFA faced fresh criticism after it emerged that Hunter joked about John Terry's race trial - in which he was acquitted - in a televised show four months ago. The union had claimed that it had done extensive research in to the comedian's act prior to booking him.

Source: PA

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