Following Twitter Stir, Tony Winner Harvey Fierstein Issues Statement Regarding Kinky Boots Thanksgiving Day Performance

By Michael Gioia
29 Nov 2013

Billy Porter and Stark Sands in Kinky Boots.
Billy Porter and Stark Sands in Kinky Boots.
Photo by Matthew Murphy

A performance from Broadway's Kinky Boots — the Tony Award-winning Best Musical celebrating equality, tolerance and acceptance — seen on The 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was met with a negative response on various social media platforms. Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein, who wrote the musical's book, responds to the Nov. 28 broadcast and subsequent Twitter firestorm.

"I'm so proud that the cast of Kinky Boots brought their message of tolerance and acceptance to America's parade," said Fierstein in a statement issued to Playbill.com. "Ten years ago I was humbled to ride a float dressed as Mrs. Claus, and it was the thrill of a lifetime. Congratulations to Macy's, on leading the world, not only with your salesmanship, but also your humanity."

The cast of Kinky Boots took to the Macy's Parade, the annual holiday event that was broadcast nationally on NBC Nov. 28, to offer a performance of "Raise You Up/Just Be." The musical number, the show's flashy finale that features its male ensemble dressed in drag and the show’s leading men — Billy Porter and Stark Sands — decked out in red leather "Kinky Boots," sparked a trend on Twitter.

Various tweets that tagged the musical's title expressed their disinterest in seeing Kinky Boots perform on national television; members from the theatre community responded in support.



Kinky Boots, about two men who band together to save a struggling shoe factory and design male high heels, received six 2013 Tony Awards, including Best Actor in a Musical (Porter), Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell), Best Orchestrations (Stephen Oremus), Best Original Score (Cyndi Lauper), Best Sound Design of a Musical (John Shivers) and Best Musical.

Read Playbill.com's Leading Men column with Sands and Porter here.

Watch the Kinky Boots performance below: