I Want To Sell Out

By on

JOE BATES on why every artist should aim for the mainstream.

I am an enthusiastic purveyor of a niche music genre. No, not Electropop meets Southern Hip Hop. People tend to call it ‘contemporary classical’, but I personally hate that name.

Last Tuesday, for the first time, it was covered (as ‘indie-classical’) in the home base of hipsterdom, Pitchfork. Yet, ironically, it was this inclusion that made me realise for the first time why I was so uncomfortable with the terms ‘indie’ and ‘hipster’.

Central to the idea of hipsterness is the celebration of one’s own alternativeness. It is the crowing ‘you probably wouldn’t have heard of them’, the disappointment when your favourite band hits the mainstream. But it’s totally alien to how I feel.

I want to sell out. I want the music I love to make everyone who writes it millionaires, for it to top the charts. I’m delighted that such a well-read publication wrote such a good article about ‘indie classical’. But I would have been even more delighted to see the same article in the NME, yet more in The Sun.

Now, I’m not an idiot. I’m aware that it will probably never happen. But I really, really want it to, and intend to try as hard as I can to make it happen. I want to go mainstream. And I have a deep suspicion of those that don’t, whether they’re an art gallery, a band or a newspaper.

It’s not that I confuse value with popularity. That’s another kettle of fish. But the logic, to me, seems inescapable:

I love what I do. Therefore I want to share it with as many people as possible.

So what could possess people to do otherwise? A lot of the more hipster-y types seem to cling to a pair of stale arguments:

‘It’s too difficult, people won’t appreciate it’

Really? Then why do you? Are you just better than other people? I understand people don’t always attach moral value to aesthetic value, but this view seems always to be accompanied by that particular brand of arsey superiority.

‘I don’t want to change what I’m doing for the sake of other people’

Fine. Don’t. Enthusiastically try to sell what you’ve got.

People are crap at predicting popularity anyway – who thought, a year ago, ‘I know what will really sell: A silent, black and white comedy with no well known actors‘? In particular, the internet allows geographically separated people to clump into communities large enough to support relatively niche art forms.

That said, paying no attention to your audience whatsoever seems more than a little self-indulgent. In particular, I find it difficult to rationalise it being done at public expense.

Whilst I’m not opposed to arts funding in general, I find the defeatist attitude too often present in arts organisations depressing. The other week, the music faculty had a visiting speaker who flat out told a bunch of aspiring composers and music organisers: ‘You can’t make money out of modern classical music’.

Well, bollocks to that. I think she’s wrong. And I’d rather fail trying to prove her wrong than have never attempted it in the first place.

  • Curiosu

    What would you call this music?

    Also, not in a pointed way, why did you write this article?

  • yeah man

    Is contempory classical just music that sounds like classical music but that was written recently? Wouldn't a lot of film soundtracks qualify? Film soundtracks seem fairly mainstream to me.

    • Joe Bates

      You see this is why I don't like the term 'Contemporary classical'. What you're saying makes sense, but isn't actually the case.

      Contemporary classical is a continuation of the classical tradition in the same way that contemporary art is a continuation of the artistic canon. So contemporary classical is avant garde almost by definition.

      Basically, most of the classical music you hear was written before 1910. But people kept on developing the tradition after that until it became very, very different. Unlike the other arts, there was a thriving 'low' cultural form (popular music) that could challenge, and eventually superseded, 'classical' music as the prevalent 'high' art form (sorry for the air quotes, but they are necessary).

      It's a fascinating, almost unknown story – the near complete death of the world's most wide-spread cultural form.

      TL;DR: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_classic
      And why I think it's a lie: http://www.cus.org/connect/debates/2011/this-hous

  • hipster

    i like all the erased tapes stuff. olafur arnolds, winged victory for the sullen etc. dead good.

  • Billy Liu

    I hit an empty baked beans can with my finger sometimes and wonder if I could take it all the way.

  • one thing

    quite a good article i think, just one point though-

    "who thought, a year ago, ‘I know what will really sell: A silent, black and white comedy with no well known actors‘?"

    …err well only the Weinstein Company, and every other person who backed the millions of dollars needed to make it.

    Also I'm pretty sure John Goodman counts as a well known actor..

  • Hipster

    you are a pretentious cunt

  • tom collins (girton)

    you sound like such a douchebag

  • Bates

    makes a good point

  • anonymous

    I agree with this article entirely I love hearing music on the radio that I've been trying to promote to my friends for ages! However I think you have the incorrect definition of selling out, I wouldn't say it is simply trying to promote the music you play into the mainstream but rather specifically changing your music to achieve mainstream success. Thus the music you originally played never actually receives mainstream success.

  • Quibbler

    I am sure we all wish you the best of luck on what is surely a noble cause. But does your music really have to be written under the banner of a movement whose name and intention is, by its very nature, confusing to most people? After all, it's not as though you wish to write self-consciously backward-looking music that sounds like it was written in the eighteenth century, which perhaps is what people will assume. Perhaps you should 'just make music'. A lot of shall-we-say 'art musicians' are hard satisfyingly to pigeonehole because that is exactly what they do. Think of people like Johnny Greenwood Damon Albarn

    • Joe Bates

      I totally agree. That's one of the (many) reasons I dislike the term 'contemporary classical'.

  • ProgBoy2112

    Take it from a progressive rock fan (me, that is), nobody cares about your niche music genre, and it will never make an impression on the mainstream audience. In fact it's better that way. When a member of the RockSoc did a prog night, I decided not to go, because I didn't want to listen to somebody else's take on my favourite genre. For me, music is a personal thing, and the few friends I have who enjoy prog are all I need for company.

  • Yes

    I completely agree with you re: arts funding. It's defeatist, and it assumes unpopularity (and – very roughly – therefore unprofitability) before a project's even begun. I'd even go further and say that it tends to watermark projects whose organizers see the idea of people actually coming along in large numbers and paying their money to hear it as a dirty concept.

    The trouble is that, for contemporary classical music, a small audience *is* a badge of honour. The reason you've successfully got some of it to Shoreditch nightclubs and the like is because you're bound to find people whose whole mindset is to embrace things that other people think are odd or quirky – or just alienating. For many people who write such things (and I don't know if this is you – I'm sure it isn't!), their first thought is to develop sounds that are offputting and difficult in the name of originality, however purposeful/less that might be.

    Listen to a Birtwhistle interview, for example. "Woe is me – I write my music, it's deliberately offputting so nobody likes it, and then I don't get any money because people don't listen to it or buy it. Poor old me, what a silly old public we have and what a mad old capitalist world we live in." In fact, just go to Holloway's house, for that matter. I ain't saying that makes it bad music; I'm saying you reap what you sow.

  • Larry Zhukman

    Have you ever heard of New Order? They are pretty sweet.

  • LOL

    You're hot. Want a bang?

  • ProgBoy2112

    Take it from a fan of progressive rock (me, that is), no one cares about your niche musical genre. You have to deal with the fact that the rest of the world are ignorami. Honestly, it's better that way. I'd hate it if prog were popular, to be honest. Music is a personal thing to me, and the few friends I have who enjoy prog are all the company I need.

    • Yo.

      Cool story bro.

  • ele

    i think the problem is that so much being played on the radio is disliked by people who like to think they 'appreciate good music' so they go and seek it out somewhere else, and find these bands. and then get 'accused' of being hipster. are we genuinely not allowed to dislike what is played on the radio without being branded with this label?

  • proud modernist

    However different our backgrounds, I think ProgBoy2112's view is remarkably similar to my own. Why is popularity inherently good or necessary? To cite a comparison, I think the English language is in many respects a wonderful thing, but I am dismayed at its ubiquity; in fact, when I go to the Continent, I feel ashamed to be British, because everyone can speak English but we cannot speak their language.

    I think Joe is missing the point with his answer to ‘It’s too difficult, people won’t appreciate it’. We are all individuals with our own views, ideas, and tastes, and listen to music *for different purposes*. It follows, therefore, that I would appreciate some things that most others might not. There is nothing inherently snobbish in that as Joe would have you believe.

    I understand Joe's desire for his favourite music to be top of the charts. In response, I would say that I simply do not care for such measures; the charts encourage a homogenisation of taste, which is a very bad thing (cf. ele's comment about the marginalisation of dissenters).

    As for the audience issue, I do not think that refusing to self-censor is a bad thing (which is what Joe implies by describing it as "self-indulgent"). Composers and performers consecrate their *lifetime* to their artistic endeavours; it is only fair that they get to do that about which they feel passionate, especially given that the vast majority never become rich.

    Such censorship would be a bad idea even if you valued your audience (which I do not): as Joe said later, you cannot possibly estimate their reaction with any accuracy. I once played a very dissonant modern "contemporary classical" piece in a recital for a predominantly over-50 non-musical audience and they loved it, to the extent that I was asked to play it again! The lesson: if you value your audience, do not restrict yourself to the "safe" options.

  • HereItIs

    I find these accusations ridiculous, as someone of an ethnic minority and who knows Jay personally I can vouch that he is not racist nor does he have homophobic views. Now I’m not saying the pictures are completely devoid of at worse a level of ignorance but that shouldn’t act as the basis for assuming somebody is wholly racist and discriminates against racial minorities. I take racism and homophobia very seriously but as well I take very seriously the fact that people can throw around these words and accuse somebody of things they are not. If these were genuine concerns why weren’t they reported as soon as possible rather then when there is an election coming up, this smells of a deliberate smear campaign. People should be able to vote for who they deem best so why is there need to slander the opponent, its funny how people want a strong University union when they act like they are in high school.

    • TheTruth

      Just because he gets on with ethnic minorities, doesn’t mean he is not racist. Racism is not merely racial discrimination, it is more than that, it is more to do with the belief that one is superior due to their race. His actions speak louder than what he says and his actions were racists. He has dehumanised, stereotyped and mocked black people through his actions and if he hasn’t realized, he should read a history book.

      • Sensible Comment

        Get off your bloody high horse and grow up.

      • realist joe

        Why on earth does blacking up make you a racist… spin it the other way, if a black guy painted himself white I’d find it hilarious. The left need to sort themselves out

        • Average Liberal


  • Greg

    I think that he could have handled this better. Instead of flat out denying that this could be construed as offensive, he should have used it as a platform to say how he would go on to help LGBTQ and BAME students. The fact that he is completely on the defensive is a little odd.

  • Horatio

    Greg, why is it odd to deny allegations that he considers untrue? The photo does not mean that he is racist. Like Jay says, it has to be considered in context. When considered in context, I don’t think it is racist.

  • justapologiseproperly!

    I doubt that he’s racist or homophobic, but the fact remains that “blacking up” is never okay, not even to play a character. You can argue that all you want but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re wearing someone’s skin colour as a costume with the intent to make people laugh, someone who can’t take that skin colour off and go back to being a privileged white person at the end of the day. His position in the photo also reflects a number of negative stereotypes, and it’s obviously problematic. You don’t have to be a racist to accidentally do or say racist things sometimes, but you are being ignorant if somebody explains to you why something is wrong and you refuse to accept it. I think that Jay just needs to apologise and accept that he’s wrong; if he can just do that, then I think he’ll get a lot more votes than trying to explain his way out of it.

  • ignoranceisnotok

    his article doesn’t really explain the problem
    It’s not about abusive racism, it’s about cultural ignorance and casual racism. If when confronted and told it’s offensive he blatantly denies and does not apologise for his actions (regardless of the explanation) can we really believe he will listen to anything the student body has to say if elected?

  • i’m sorry but that is not the costume for Seaweed, in any interpretation of the musical that i’ve come accross? nor are any of the other costumes that are featured in the photos. the closest could be the woman behind him who is wearing a late 60’s dress, however the play is set in the early 60’s before that trend was around. I just don’t see how this could feasibly be an after party for a production of Hairspray, and it seem fishy that these photos are taken from an album for someone’s 40th birthday party, which is clearly Top Gun themed (as stated in the article) and NOT a Musical after party… Weak excuses trying to justify something he CLEARLY know’s is inappropriate, with no attempt at a proper apology.

    • NotaMuggle

      Sorry, I forgot the Black Character with the big chain in Top Gun. What was his call sign again?

      It wasn’t Kareem Abdul Jabbar was it? Because that’s Airplane

  • .

    His comment about Frank N Furter is absolutely ridiculous. Black face and drag are IN NO WAY comparable.
    Honestly I think his excuse is a down right lie, has this man even seen Hairspray? The movie is ABOUT racism, the fact that anyone thinks it’s acceptable to do a production of it with white actors blacked up is absolutely appalling.

    • C

      Have you even been in a production before or know anything about drama in the smallest way? – He wasn’t claiming to be the director. As an actor you commit to a part – you get an amazing part like Seaweed in an absolutely FANTASTICAL production like Hairspray which is rarely seen done due to the sheer lack of black people willing to act and willing to represent themselves within theatre – you go for it. As an actor your role is to work in the production, commit and play the role however your director wants it played essentially – his word is law. I, as a black actor have had to ‘white up’ to play a Japanese grandmother in an avante guarde performance – does that make me racist? Does it matter that I’m from one of the most diverse cities in the UK and racism is so far from my mind that it may as well be an alien lifeform?

      Have you seen the movie White Chicks – the Wayanes brothers? Racist little pricks! No – that’s not a thing! Fair enough it’s completely inadvisable to have put on a production like this. No one is saying that was a good life choice. But to brand an individual racist based on someone else’s choices and then to tarnish their reputation – not just now but for years to come when this whole misguided movement is long gone – that is irresponsible and petty and should not continue. Anyone who doesn’t vote for Jay because of this needs to take a look at their sense of logic and their sense of good rather than jumping on some hardly veiled attempt at a personal attack. This isn’t politics, it’s a flipping union job – get over yourselves.

      • P

        Just the one correction.

        *this is politics, it’s ‘flipping’ a union job.

        He runs for an office with a budget, provided by our fees. There is ‘literally’ nothing more political on campus. Including the Politics department. Please find your sense of logic before posting utter bullshit.

        Yours ‘fantastically’,

        Common sense.

        • P. Cock

          My favourite thing about students at largely middle class universities is the fact that they cannot resist the urge to be superior assholes.
          Wow. Sarcasm. You sure showed them.

        • C

          Oh, is there nothing more political on campus? Yes, ON CAMPUS. You’re a student. This campus is barely a blip in your life experience and all Jay is doing is spending his time and energy in the run up to exams trying to improve that experience for everyone and an attack on his character doesn’t change that fact it just makes it unnecessarily catty and changes it from a fair fight between people with ideas and policies and plans for our union to a bunch of who can say what about whom and who was mean to whom and who can get a dig in first. We try and take the high ground but if this is how our generation behaves now I don’t even want to see what happens later on. You really think that if you looked through the facebooks of any other candidate you couldn’t easily paint a bullshit picture of who they are? You keep believing that then… Naivety suits you. Wear it like a badge of honour.

          Even if you class this as the height of a Political career – if you agree with this bullshit tactic then good on you mate but Common Sense is nowhere near you. You’re so far away from it you’ve crossed into a different time zone.

          Also, I hope you’re not saying that fantastical isn’t a word. I’d look it up mate. It’s also been described by critics as fantastical cause, you know, Hairspray is amazing and extravagant and just WOW.

      • dayglowjoe

        black face is never ok, and these photos aren’t even from the show, they are clearly from a party. he is pulling gang signs and clearly taking this piss out of black stereotypers. it’s completely and blatantly racist. you can’t use the ‘i was in a play’ excuse. you can play a character who is black originally without blacking up…

  • Grad

    It’s sad to see other candidates creating a smear campaign against a guy who’d do anything for anyone. “Blacking up” is never ok, even for a stage production, but this has been taken widely out of context to make him seem like a monster. This may just be student politics but ruining someone’s reputation and future prospects just to better your own chances is pathetic.

    • Alex

      The other candidates didn’t create this campaign. They were approached by the tab. It’s mainly people who have been offended by his actions that started this off. Don’t believe me? Ask the editor.

      • D. Oosh

        Offended by his actions?? Have you ever met the guy?! He’s the most genuine candidate out there. Obvious smear campaign by someone who was pathetic enough to trawl through (very) old photos.

        • yo

          They’re not that old, they’re from 2012, he was a student here at that time.

          • Trombone

            Going through 2 years of photos is dedication to the cause. It could also be referred to as being a massive tit.

            • Jim

              facebook stalking is normal part of university life. everyone’s seen photos they don’t like. get over it.

              • Trombone

                Cool story bro

  • JB

    HMMM I wonder who could possibly have brought this smear campaign up…definitely not Harry Wells…nope, definitely not. Thank god we cleared that up

  • Matthew Corbin

    This is a Ridiculous smear attempt. Finding old Facebook photo’s and posting them out of context REAKS of insecurity for whichever candidate did so. Speaking for myself as a black man, ‘blacking up’ or rather wearing costume makeup for the purposes of acting/performing is absolutely 100% okay when done with the correct level of professionalism. Speaking as someone who knows Jamie, he is a professional and he would never mean to cause offence.

    • TheTruth

      It doesn’t matter, I know him as well. He is good guy, but an uneducated idiot, who should read a history book. He has shown complete ignorance. Casual racism is not okay, he needs to needs to be educated about what racism actually is. Racism doesn’t equal racial discrimination, they are different things even though there is an element of racial discrimination in racism. We can’t allow our generation to be just as ignorant as previous generations. Plus he should have apologized and acknowledge what he has done was wrong. As a ethnic minority myself, everyone regardless of their race needs to educated on racism, or we will enter more trauma as people. Inferiority complexes and Superiority complexes need to be eradicated because they continue to fuel racism.

    • Friend

      Corbin. You’re assuming that this was done by another candidate, and not just the mercenaries that are Becca Dye and Katherine Notman, who are notoriously vicious and negative. They run that account and would definitely take it in themselves to conveniently bring these photos up now for maximum destructive effect to Jay.

      • Corbin

        I really hope it wasn’t another candidate. I made no suggestion of who it might be have been. In any case both the candidates who made comments on here should really have a think about whether it was wise to do so, I imagine a bit of Election madness got the better of their Judgment as they’re both decent people. Staying clear of Tab Media in general is probably for the best.

    • Your Year 3 English Teacher

      *photos, you illiterate fuck.

      • foundhim!

        Harry Wells is that you?

      • Corbin

        I do enjoy being insulted by someone not willing to post their real name….Love a keyboard warrior 😉

  • Bob

    Harry Wells is the last person I want running the Union. The guy is a tit.

    • James

      What does this have to do with anything?

      • CH

        I believe Harry Wells is also running for experience officer.
        The guy encapsulates everything that is wrong with the ultra left-wing. Be it a masochistic hatred of white people or the continual begging forgiveness off feminists for daring to be born male. Harry wells has it all

  • Keanu

    I’m voting for Jay Appleyard .

    He has a sexy voice.

  • Piper Chapman

    Harry Wells, congrats on your smear campaign – I see it’s off to a flying start. Maybe don’t feature yourself as an interviewee if you want to avoid suspicion. Rookie error my friend, rookie error.

    • Alex Vause

      I think the Tab got hold of this by themselves. They just happened to interview Harry and Alexia coz of their connections with the LGBTQA. The Tab also included their manifestos without their permission :/ if you ask me, this is just bad journalism.

  • Alex Vause

    Harry Wells is as subtle as a shit covered brick to the face.

    • Yushi

      Other candidates are not responsible for this. Becca Dye and Katherine Notman are.

    • Timmy

      is the brick ‘blacked up’?

      • Duh

        …Obviously, because it’s covered in shit.

        • Timmy

          The brick should be held to account then…

  • N. Nichols

    I would rather have sexual intercourse with a pine cone than have Harry Wells in any kind of position of power.

    • swill

      A true martyr, you are the hero we need and god knows deserve

  • Yoga Jones

    I think that people need to realise that if we trolled through the lives of other candidates, we’d find things that could be taken out of context and used as hate. Immature accusations regarding what somebody may or may have not said are imbecilic and downright unnecessary. Whoever wrote this should be ashamed to have published such slander, even if it is on The Tab.

    • Steve

      Yeah because it’s such a crime to present the facts in a straightforward manner isn’t it.

      How often are the lives of public figures trawled through by professional journalists? Pretty much all the time. It was only the other day that a journalist from the BBC trawled through David Cameron’s Twitter account and found he followed a high-end escort agency. Was that journalist imbecilic too?

      You seem to forget that no allegations have been made by The Tab, they’ve simply reported on the appearance of the page and the posts to it. They haven’t made up the claims themselves.

      To quote an example: “The Facebook page also alleges he used the slogan “don’t be gay, vote for jay” in the run up to last years elections”. Nowhere in that sentence has The Tab said that the comment was made. They have just reported that page suggests it may have been. Maybe actually take into account what is written before jumping on your high horse.

      Also, to think the editorial team are stupid enough to have something of this nature published without prior consultation with a lawyer regarding libel and slander is itself imbecilic. That happens pretty much everywhere in the media world and I’m sure it would have happened in this case too.

      • YogaJones4president

        Oh lordy. You sound like the kind of person who ruins a party because you adore the sound of your own voice.

        You are talking about technicalities. What people are disgusted at is that while yes, you CAN publish things like this, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD. This is a question of ethics and morals, and the fact that the page was set up by key LGBTQ figures, about a candidate who is running against two LGBTQ members reeks of a smear campaign…. except they’re so notorious for being malevolent it’s backfired.

        The majority of people reading this have been intelligent enough to see it for what it really is and dismiss it as bullying. But if you want to stick up for bullies, good for you, you’re an outstanding member of society.

        • John

          Is the whole point not to bring this kind of thing to the attention of the student body, the group he would be representing?

          I think the number of ‘likes’ this has got would suggest that a number of people believe it was right to let students know about this.

          How do you know the page was set up by members of LGBTQ…you can’t see who is running the page, can you? Isn’t that a little bit slanderous to claim it was certain individuals when there is no evidence to support your claim?

          • 15 minutes are up

            Mate… if that were so you contact The Ripple, LUST, or better yet Dan Flatt who handles the elections and makes sure they are conducted fairly etc. If you wanted to bring this to the attention of the student body out of genuine concern, you’d follow official channels and not go off and make a shitty facebook group sensationalising the issue – “Don’t vote for Jay if you’re against homophobia and racism”… I mean come on. Seriously? Damn, being a homosexual I must really hate myself as I’m still voting for Jay.

            Rob Durdin (all the way from the US no less), Maddy Naderali and their fellow cronies have had their two seconds of infamy. We’re not dealing with Edward Snowden where official channels can’t be trusted – if they wanted this to remain unbiased and fair (which the University media outlets have strived to do in order to avoid a shambles like this), they should have reported it to Dan Flatt and he could have taken it from there.

            So if naming members of the LGBTQ is slanderous because there is no concrete evidence, you are therefore admitting that saying Jay had the slogan ‘Don’t be gay, vote for Jay’ is slanderous. Either it is slanderous in which case we shouldn’t throw names about, or it isn’t, which means people should be able to use the names of those who are known to be involved, despite lacking ‘concrete’ evidence.

            You can hide behind nit picking, or you can accept that the – we’ll pretend we don’t know the identities of the self important shit heads who started this – perpetrators have done this for personal reasons, and not to alert fellow students out of genuine concern.

            To be honest, the fact they decided to ‘alert’ students via The Tab, where it is up with headlines such as ‘Campus toilets: In search of Pootopia’ and ‘SEX SURVEY: Who has the most STIs?’ says it all. Top publication.

  • Bull detector

    “During his campaigning last year for Undergraduate Officer 2013/14, (a position that he won), he was heard by an LGBTQA committee member…’, yeah… Harry wells.

  • Cedric

    This looks awfully suspicious given Harry Wells’s ties with the LGBTQ Association

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Nobody can dispute the fact that Jay blatantly did black up. The photos are there. You can see them. Let’s not blindly defend someone just because we like them as people.

    The Tab approached both Alexia and Harry for quotes on this issue, I happen to personally know. Attempts to align Harry with this smear campaign are sad, ill-informed, and smears in and of themselves. He gave a quote when asked for it, nothing more than that. He was not involved in the page that was made, nor did he approach the Tab requesting this article.

    It may be tempting to shift the focus of this article onto another candidate. It may even be beneficial. But it is ultimately Jay who did the wrong, Jay who blacked up, and Jay who excused his actions. Perhaps we should hold Jay accountable rather than shifting in our seats and pointing fingers at others.

    • Faith

      The point you seem to be missing is that it’s painfully obvious the article wasn’t written by a concerned student trying to prevent a homophobic racist from being voted in. It’s poorly written, libellous and sensational. Perhaps if they’d written it without obvious bias people could take it seriously. People aren’t stupid – the fact it’s written anonymously for the TAB speaks volumes in itself.

      It just makes everyone involved look ridiculous – including the two candidates who decided to give statements.

      • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

        Then write a letter of complaint to the Tab, don’t falsely accuse other candidates of being secretly behind this article. My own feeling on this article is that everyone knew Jay had blacked up anyway, so there was no need to write an article about it. But that’s just the Tab being its usual sensationalist self and reflects badly on nobody but the Tab… and Jay.

        • J. King

          Write a letter of complaint?? The damage (long term, to this man’s life) has been done you ignorant fool.

          • Dougie

            Maybe he shouldn’t have blacked up then run for a position that requires him to be seen as representing THE ENTIRE STUDENT BODY.

  • nekbeard

    there is only ONE student from the LGBTQ association on Appleyard’s campaign team – Jemma Malone. No self-respecting LGBTQ people take this man seriously

    • Hose

      Of course the society speaks for all LGBTQ people.

    • Seriously

      when did LGBTQ people become so entitled?
      “We demand that you put LGBTQ people on your team otherwise you are clearly bigoted!”
      What utter nonsense. Please reconsider your moronic, ultrasensitive, childish opinions

  • W. Eary

    Judging by the names of those involved with the whole sorry affair I am 100% convinced that this is a smear campaign not by any one candidate – but by members of the LGBTQ . A notoriously political past exec is the ‘eye witness’ to this, and the page is run by key members of the society. This is bullying at its worst and I feel ashamed for them.

    For a society built around tolerance and understanding – it appears to be infected by a small number of frighteningly venomous bullies who employ intimidation tactics. This could well affect the poor guys life well into the future, but of course it’s more important to throw together some poor excuse of an article in order to settle some personal vendetta. I dearly hope there will be consequences for all those involved.

    Like others have pointed out, had this been put together fairly like a proper piece of journalism, there would be little room to criticise and a healthy debate would have ensued in which Jay could defend himself, and therefore be held accountable for the photos (which I agree, are disappointing to see).

    As it stands, all the page and this article have succeeded in doing is make those making the allegations look like high school bullies.

    It sickens me that certain people believe themselves to be superior, when they haven’t got a shred of compassion or empathy.

    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

      It’s funny how the LGBTQA are accused of bullying, whereas Jay’s racism and homophobia are shrugged off. Who are the real bullies here? The ones pointing out pure facts or Jay, who blacked up and then shrugged his shoulders when questioned about it?

      • Angel

        The real bullies are the venomous shits in the LGBTQ. As a member I know damn well how manipulative they are, so let’s not kid ourselves. Yes he blacked up, yes it’s not acceptable – but it’s also not acceptable to run someone’s name through the dirt without a fair trial.

        Get off your high horse.

    • Derek

      I think you’ll find it mentions that Jay was given the opportunity to defend himself. In fact the five paragraphs after the words “In a statement today, Appleyard said” are Jay’s defence.

      Investigating the story, interviewing the person at the centre of it, interviewing other people that are running for the same position, reporting the facts, giving Jay the opportunity to defend himself. They sound like the characteristics of really bad journalism don’t they? Silly prick.

      Why does there always have to be the suggestion of a smear campaign. Why can’t people just realise that somebody found something that was inappropriate and reported on it. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but sometimes things aren’t as sinister as they appear to be…

      • Defendorofsillypricks

        The fact the two manifestos have been pulled shows that the perpetrators realise they put their names to a shitty article. If this was a piece of decent journalism, they wouldn’t have included the other two manifestos because as any intelligent writer know – that makes it biased, and look like a smear campaign to promote their own agendas.

        As for calling someone a silly prick (How is that even an insult (?) It just conjures up images of a gleeful penis) – you ever written an article? If the answer is yes (God forbid), I suspect it was for the Tab which – as you somehow seem to be unaware – is universally known as the Daily Mail shite-fest of student publications. If you haven’t ever written an article, don’t tell someone that this is good journalism when it’s been laughed out of every University outlet as a piece of slanderous shit.

        • ignoranceisnotok

          Originally they only included Harry’s manifesto, they included Alexia’s to make it non bias, they’re all running for the same role, to show all manifestos is the opposite of bias.

  • Miss Right

    ‘Leicester RevSoc’ is a Facebook account run by Becca Dye and Katherine Notman. They did this and I’m sure without the knowledge or involvement of any candidates.

  • UoL

    I know Jay personally and can honestly say I am completely against his campaign, he is far from genuine only supporting those he beleives he can gain votes from, he doesnt care about LGBT or BAME issues, it’s simple tokenism he knows by faining interest in these groups it will make him look good. In regards to these images, this is clearly no aftershow party, its someones 40th. Even if it was, why are there no black actors to play ‘Seaweed’? Blackface has never been ok and never will be.

    • Rob

      I don’t know Jay personally, but since this is democratic, my vote is worth just as much as yours. I don’t like him either. Both sides of the argument now agree on Jay. End.

  • captain sensible

    “racial da da da” says it all really

  • Miss Right

    to those accusing the makers of the page… how would you know, the admin are secret lol!

  • JCathers

    His relatives were in Hairspray with him? Talented family…… :-/

  • JCathers

    Just to add, those of you who think this man is a kind and upstanding gentleman have just been taken in by his false and in-genuine presentation of himself. I know him extremely well, and I have never seen anything to suggest he is anything but self important, pretentious and belittling.

    These images don’t surprise me at all, neither do his blatantly obvious lies in his statement. He says he’s at an after party for a show AND says the picture was on a relative’s page. He say’s it’s a role for theatre but the album is entitled about a 40th party. He suggests his campaign material will prove he didn’t use a homophobic slogan, when everyone, including him, knows that he was saying it, not writing it in his official material. He suggests it would be okay to ‘black up’ if there’s no black people around…..I mean, could he have done much more damage if he just told the truth here?!

    Maybe this isn’t the best article in the world, but the facts remain: if it was okay to black up we wouldn’t be reading this article at all.

  • grief

    this is probably why you were such a fucking awful editor then, Joe.

  • XXX

    The person obviously found this picture on his relative personal Facebook isn’t mentioned. Also this article is so negative and controversial that it is asking other candidates to comment about it so they have chance to win the election over jay and i think its wrong. Also there is no actual account of witness who actually saw jay saying it. He clearly explained why he looked like that and i don’t think he is the person in theatre production had to do that. I think these are all accusations. Obviously the people who are doing this knew how everyone would react and sabotage. This is a university and the elections should be done fair with no fool play. WE MEANT TO BE REPRESENTATIVES for Leicester university. SO DO ELECTION FAIRLY AND MAY THE BEST PERSON WIN.

    • Bob

      Is it not fairly common to ask other people for comment in this sort of situation. When it comes to general election time in the UK and a journalist digs up some dirt, is it not common to ask the other candidates for comment?

      I feel like your grievances over the lack of witness to the statement should belong somewhere else, after all the author is only reporting what is on the Facebook page.

      Correct. They are all accusations, but none of them have been made in this article. I think you’ll find the posts made to the Facebook page did the accusing.

  • Boris

    This is a nasty, disgusting smear campaign.
    Students will see through these bullying tactics.

    To hijack the cause of liberation to spread lies, rumours and libellous vitriol is utterly hypocritical and wrong.

    I hope Jay takes this further and takes legal action.

  • Georgio Sabbatico

    I go away for a few days and the election gets spicy. Oooh.

  • Georgio Sabbatico

    Since graduating, I look back and realise how laughable, petty and childish union politics are.

    Behaviour like this smear campaign shows the lengths immature morons are prepared to go in order to win a barely significant election.

    I’ve got news for you – EVERYONE THINKS YOU’RE STUPID. Especially outside the university bubble.

  • Neville Longbottom

    If gay and black people want equality, they need to stop moaning and sort out the massive chips on their shoulders.

    Someone blacked themselves up for a theatre role, BIG DEAL!
    It’s hardly recreating the slave trade.

  • al

    This is ridiculous. It’s not like he was dressing in a KKK outfit and burning people at the stake. He dressed up as someone. How is that racist? Fancy dress is fancy dress people need to get a grip and stop being so sensitive.

  • Seriously?

    Are you kidding me, The Tab? What bullshit journalism is this? The guy’s in a show afterparty, and you’ve taken the photos off his private facebook, and from what I’ve heard, it was from his mum’s or aunt’s facebook. Isn’t that just vile?

    Having students go through other student’s lives, trying to smear them, just for the journalist student to get their first big scoop, that’s just pathetic.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending blacking up, I’m saying that Jay was doing it for an acting part, and therefore didn’t mean to cause offence, and not trying to perpetrate a stereotype. It was a error or judgement, and I’m sure he’s sorry.

    As for the homophobe part, if it had any glimmer of truth in, why didn’t LGBTQ take it up with the SU last year, or any time before the elections? It’s clearly just a smear.

    Let the SU elections be about the policies of the candidates, not what they did years ago.

  • Ollie

    Jay, how did you get such a consistent spread?

    • Jay Applecart


  • embarrassing

    Is dressing up racist? What about comedians and actors who portray a class, nationality, race or gender that is not their own? Is that racist/sexist/classist? I dont think so. Funny how criticism of this matter has only been brought up around an election time….if it was that much of an issue, surely there would have been campaigns and complaints against the drama society, any fancy dress event, red leicester, organised bar crawls, people dressed up at the fresher fayres for example? If people felt strongly on such a specific issue, why has nothing been done before? This speaks volumes, out of principle for this circus i will actively vote for Jay and against the other big candidates who are either a. in on this smear, or b. quite happy to allow this smear to go ahead.

  • Jay Applecart

    Someone’s upset the applecart

  • MoreValidPoint

    I was told multiple times by representatives in his campaign that this was a private party in which he dressed as Mr T from The A Team. My more pressing objection is to his obvious lying about the situation over and over again. If he accepted that he was ignorant (I myself had no idea the context of ‘blacking up’ and had never seen it used in a derogatory way so was unaware of the history of such) then it would have been more understandable. However he has chosen to lie making everything that he say, in my eyes, completely untrustworthy.

    He is not someone that I want to have a strong role in our union.

    Unfortunately, I understand that he is a very charismatic and rather good looking guy that is likely to win despite the fact that he is not the best candidate by far. This ladies and gentleman is why I hate SU politics with a burning passion!

  • James

    The doorman at Mars Bar in town has been asked to discriminate against men of color. He is not allowed to let in men of color who are not accompanied by a lady. He does not allow men of color who come alone or more than 1.

    Please address this before it gets out of hand.

    • James

      Leicester City Center

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