’s Glenn Kenny reported yesterday afternoon about an ugly racial incident that happened to Sleep Dealer director Alex Rivera and his two stars, Luis Fernando Perla and Leonor Varela. The setting was one of the Main Street photo shoot/swag houses. Accompanied by Falco Ink’s Steve Beeman, they had an hour to kill after posing for photographs and decided to visit the upstairs swag suite. Perla and Varela were ushered in but Rivera was blocked at the door. “No directors,” he was told.
Beeman, understandably offended, told the swag girls that the Sleep Dealer trio “can buy their own t-shirts, they’re merely looking for a place to hang, they haven’t seen each other in over a year since the shooting, and so on. A brief consultation among swagmasters leads to the director’s entry into the hallowed sanctum. [But ] Rivera soon noticed that one of the room’s female attendants was dogging his every step.
“Are you following me?” Rivera asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“Could you stop?”
“No. You might steal something.”
I can believe that a swag girl might conjure a paranoid fantasy of a Latino artist pocketing an item. Standard U.S. of A. racism. But it’s hard to believe that she would be so stupid and cloddish as to actually say the words “you might steal something.” Are we sure she didn’t say something more along the lines of “we’re just being careful” or…you know, something allusive instead of blunt?
Note: Kenny doesn’t identify the players by name in his piece. I was given the lowdown last night after a showing of Patti Smith: Dream of Life.
Followup: In a world of my own devising an organized demonstration would be held outside the photo shoot/swag sometime late this afternoon. The chant could be something along the lines of “Hey hey, ho ho, swag racists have to go!” An all-media advisory would be sent out this morning. The usual pitchforks and torches would be handed out of the back of a pickup truck on Swede Alley 30 minutes prior to the start of the demonstration. Flyers with a photo of swag girl who uttered the racist remark would be wild-posted all over town alongside a slogan that reads, “Who are we? Does Barack Obama have reason to be concerned?”