An aspiring Montreal comedian has been banned from performing at two events because he is a white man with dreadlocks.
Zach Poitras was told by officials of the Coop Les Récoltes, a venue at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, that his choice of hairstyle meant they wouldn't let him be a part of their events Snowflake Comedy Club and Soirée d'humour engagée.
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Coop Les Récoltes describes itself as a bar and solidarity co-operative that is a "safe space, free from oppression".
A post on its Facebook page confirms banning Poitras and gives a lengthy explanation about the move, which it says comes after decades of colonialism and "cultural genocide".
"It is a privilege to be able to wear dreads as a white person and that this is seen as a mode or as being edgy, while a black person will be denied access to job opportunities or spaces," says Coop Les Récoltes.
"In fact, black people too often face the need to change their hair and deny their culture if they want to be employable and be able to survive."
Coop Les Récoltes insists it isn't saying Poitras is necessarily racist himself and challenges people upset over the ban to think about why it was imposed.
"In cases of cultural ownership, we understand that a person's intention may not be racist. However, beyond individual intent, cultural ownership is a vehicle for racism whose consequences on the persons concerned are real," says the venue's Facebook post.
"To the people who attended the Coop Les Récoltes and who say that now they will not return again, we strongly invite you to question your position of privilege, to inform you and try to deconstruct you if you are truly an ally."
Poitras declined to comment to local media but in a Facebook post of his own said he hopes everyone "calms their f**king tits".