Honolulu City Council member Augie 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”
Michael Golojuch Jr., chair of the Stonewall Committee in the Democratic party of Hawaii, says he’s disgusted by the video.
“He’s no longer Augie T the comedian, he’s now a city member of the Honolulu City Council, he has to take ownership of that,” Golojuch Jr. said. “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.”
Tulba has not offered any explanation about the dated re-post despite our attempts for a response. Instead he referred us to his manager that handles his work as a stand up comedian. The manger responded in a written statement, explaining they regularly repost old material to promote Tulba’s show AugieTV.
Full statement: “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.”
Civil Rights activist Ken Lawson says he supported Tulba in his run for City Council but still he is offended by the comedy skit.
“I don’t think that was his intent but I do think he needs to understand,” Lawson said. “Most comedians, well known comedians do not appear in black face, there’s a reason why they don’t do it because it offends many black people.”
The post has generated negative comments and it’s still online, but the comments have now been limited.