On the morning of July 1, 2017, newly elected President Keri Brooks issued an public apology to ASLTA members for John Maucere’s performance at ASLTA 2017 Closing Ceremony. What contents of what was said during the performance has not been specifically determined, however, what we do know is that the show had “inappropriate content, uncomfortable bullying in the guise of humor, making members feel unwelcome and unsafe”.
President Keri Brooks outlined in her letter/vlog that the board takes full responsibility for John Maucere actions as they “do not support bullying or targeting certain members of our community”. With this learning lesson, ASLTA President Keri Brooks has decided that her first agenda as President of ASLTA will be to setup a face-to-face Board Retreat as soon as possible to receive Social Justice training and hope that this training will prevent this from happening again in the future.
The Silent Grapevine reached out to John Maucere last night and wanted to get his input on his experience and he also wanted to apologize not only to ASLTA attendees, but to the public as a whole. In his statement released and supported by the ASLTA Board, he issued an public apology.
He states, “I want to say that I am deeply sorry for what happened yesterday [July 1st, 2017]. This experience has a profound impact on me. People have approached me to share their perspectives. Their explanations have made me open my eyes to what I have done in the last 20 years. What I have done is not okay.”
He explained in his apology about how he met a woman named Janice Warshow while waiting for his flight at the Salt Lake City airport and how she approached him and explained her point of view on how his performance affected her.
“Fate lead me to meet Janice Warshaw at the Salt Lake City airport. We made eye contact and Janice said that we need to have a long conversation. I agreed and listened to her as she explained in detail of the situation. To be honest, I was in shock and at the beginning, I tried to discuss my point of view but she gave me examples so specific that I could only just listen. I actually learned the sign COLONIZE-ME. Janice taught me what the concept means and I learned that I need to decolonize myself by learning [about social justice] and taking workshops in order to unpack everything. “
John Maucere will be taking any workshops related to social justice as well as to understand how he can learn to de-colonize himself and hopes better himself by making changes to his show materials. He wants to make sure that all upcoming performances will be appropriate and hopes that it will allow people enjoy his humor and feel like they’re in a safe place while doing so.