Philip Miller MBE, the CEO, told Southend Echo that the theme park will “not be rebooking this act or participate in any future Pride celebrations”.
Drag Race UK star Crystal’s performance at the theme park’s event on Saturday (15 July) was part of the annual Southend-on-Sea Pride Festival.
Parents were allegedly “outraged and horrified” by the supposedly “suggestive” performance, MailOnline reported.
The Canadian-British performer, who participated in the first season of Drag Race UK, responded to the backlash.
“I’m sure you’ve already decided the narrative here – ‘drag queen grooms children’ – as part of your ongoing commitment to sustaining a culture war non-issue,” he wrote in his full comment to MailOnline, which he later shared on Twitter. “But I would contend nothing I did yesterday was sexual.”
He also pointed out that he had been “booked 3 years in a row for Adventure Island Pride – and each year the feedback has been very positive.”
Crystal also told the BBC that he had not been contacted by any representative of the event since the performance.
Southend Pride has been taking place annually since 2018, with the theme park organising events independently from the festival.
Protesters disrupted more than 50 drag events over the last year in the UK
At least 57 all-ages drag events were disrupted in the UK in the last year, according to a recent report from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).
The report concluded that anti-drag rhetoric is spreading to the UK from the US, with anti-LGBTQ+ narratives – such as associating the “groomer” slur with members of the community – being pushed to make drag appear as a threat, particularly to children.
Of the 57 events affected, protesters were present at 51, while 10 were cancelled ahead of time due to safety concerns.