Today, Noisey UK—the randy brother of Vice’s music channel Noisey—posted a review of a British music festival written in text message by the musician GFOTY, who is one of the more minor members of the pop-parody crew PC Music. If you read the post now you will notice blocks of redacted text; if you had read it earlier this morning, you would have seen GFOTY making a rather awful racist joke.
The post is comprised of screenshots sent from GFOTY (short for “Girlfriend of the Year,” real name Polly-Louisa Salmon, daughter of famous British art dealer Jeff Salmon) to, presumably, whichever Noisey UK editor put this shitpile together. One of the screenshots early in the piece currently looks like this:
What those blocks of text are covering up is a racist remark about the Mali-based father-son duo Toumani & Sidiki, who were performing at Field Day, the festival in question. The British music website The Quietus grabbed a shot of the text before it was covered up:
“I saw a tribal band play on the main stage,” GFOTY wrote. “I think they were covering Bombay Bycicle [sic] club / Bombay bycicle club blacked up.”
Bombay Bicycle Club is a British band that plays vaguely percussive indie rock which sometimes incorporates the bright guitar licks of Afropop (translated into American: they are a worse version of Vampire Weekend’s first album). Their four members are very much non-black, which is presumably why GFOTY called Toumani & Sidiki a “blacked up” version of the band.
One would think that maybe someone who called an African band the blackface version of some British squares would not need her thoughts broadcast to the rest of the world—or that, at the very least, some sort of editor would have noticed that remark and removed it from the piece, as is the stated job of the “editor.” Alas, neither of those two things were true: it was only after the “blacked up” comment was called out that anyone at Noisey UK thought it should be removed. (An alternate theory is that Noisey UK editors read the story carefully but didn’t see anything wrong with calling two black people “blacked up.”)
The piece now sports the following comment regarding the redaction:
Part of this conversation has been taken out because it’s fucking awful. It shouldn’t have been published in its original version.
You’ll notice that comment makes no mention of what was removed or why. For that, a reader who theoretically made it all the way to the bottom of this nonsense would have to Google for a post like, uh, this one.
Later, Noisey UK editor Sam Wolfson responded to The Quietus on Twitter:
@theQuietus Think GFOTY says nothing but ridiculous and charmless things but there are limits to that and this shouldn’t have been publishd.June 8, 2015
“We love this ridiculous person except when she is racist!”
GFOTY apologized as well and claimed that her racism was ironic:
I know I push buttons, but I've gone too far this time. I was being really naive, and for that I take full responsibility.June 8, 2015
So far, neither party has apologized for GFOTY’s inability to spell the word “bicycle.”