21st Century Burlesque

New York Boylesque Festival Producers respond to Go-Go Harder’s Accusations of Exclusion.

New York Boylesque Festival Producers respond to Go-Go Harder’s Accusations of Exclusion.
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Go-Go Harder at the New York Burlesque Festival Friday Night Premiere Party. ©Angela McConnell

Go-Go Harder at the New York Burlesque Festival Friday Night Premiere Party. ©Angela McConnell

A number of burlesque performers have reacted with shock and disgust at the alleged actions of New York Boylesque Festival producers Jen Gapay and Daniel Nardicio, who, according to an article published on Queerty.com, have excluded burlesque performer Go-Go Harder from this year’s festival.

Go-Go Harder told Queerty.com that he has been “officially banned from performing” at this year’s New York Boylesque Festival, which he claims is due to his work in porn. In his article for the website he claims that “my on camera adventures are apparently just too hard to handle for the producers of the Boylesque Festival, and it was made clear to me that I was not welcome on either night’s stripping festivities, despite the fact that I had helped organize year one’s events and that a quarter of year two’s participants had all taken my Boylesque classes.”

Jen Gapay with Angie Pontani at NYBF 2013. ©Angela McConnell

Jen Gapay with Angie Pontani at NYBF 2013. ©Angela McConnell

21st Century Burlesque Magazine reached out to New York Boylesque Festival co-producer Jen Gapay for comment on this story, and she responded as follows:

“As the co-producer of The New York Boylesque Festival, I can honestly say that the festival and its producers are supportive of sex workers and work with them on a regular basis.

The decision to not have Chris Harder perform in this festival is a personal one based on the personal relationship between co-producer Daniel Nardicio and Chris. Chris and Daniel were boyfriends and lived together for over 2 years. Obviously this is a matter of the heart and not about the festivals stance on the porn industry.

As far as past festivals go, Chris did not help organize the 1st Annual Boylesque Festival; he taught a class in conjunction with the festival and made all the money that was generated from that class, and yes, there were performers that participated in the 2013 festival that had taken classes from Chris, but certainly not a quarter of the festival performers as he claims.”

Daniel Nardicio added:

“I’m saddened that my ex Chris chose to play this out for publicity. As anyone who knows me and my career can attest, I’ve been more than supportive of the porn community. And I employ and promote sex workers regularly. I’m known as the “king of queer sleaze” in the gay media for Christ sake. I was VP of marketing for Playgirl for 3 years and I hired Chris for a shoot: how could I be anti porn? This is between two guys who were lovers and one needing distance – anyone who was in a relationship should be able to understand that. Oddly Chris left out that we were in a 3 year relationship not that long ago.  I respectfully asked him not to participate – he wasn’t banned. If he had any respect for my feelings, he would have complied. At the end of the day, it’s a gig, that’s it. Is it worth all of this over a gig?”

6 Responses to New York Boylesque Festival Producers respond to Go-Go Harder’s Accusations of Exclusion.

  1. Lissette March 11, 2014 at 8:29 PM

    I’m disappointed that Chris won’t be performing. It seems like you should’ve just pushed your feelings of hurt aside and let him perform — he is one of the most well-known burlesque/boylesque performers in New York and one of my favorites to watch. Exes have to work together all the time. The mature thing to do would have been to realize his talent and past involvement were more important than your need for distance. I’ve attended the boylesque fest, and may well do so again, but this makes me very disappointed in the choices, and I don’t even know Chris. I’d like to still come and support all the great performers, but I’m not sure if I will because I find this very unprofessional.

  2. Scarlett March 4, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    Agree with Stella’s comment – saying that you banned your ex-boyfriend from the festival because he’s your ex-boyfriend is not a good defense. It’s petty and unprofessional and perpetuates the idea that burlesque festivals are all about politics and favoritism.

  3. greta March 4, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    i think saying its personal is even worse! It lacks professionalism!

  4. Pingback: Sex, Lies And Stripping: Porn Controversy Hits New York Boylesque Festival - This Is Cabaret

  5. Stella February 26, 2014 at 3:01 AM

    So…. you are saying it is personal? That is even worse.

  6. Pingback: Let Me Entertain You: How I Was Banned From Boylesque Because I Work In Porn / Queerty

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