In response to an online petition protesting the group’s lack of diversity, the Ku Klux Klan has announced the recruitment of its only black female castmember.
Denise Franklin, 27, the Klan’s newest member, is a graduate of New York State University. She’s a familiar face around the New York improv scene with her troupe Lady Mustache, and is a frequent performer at UCBEast.
“Wait, I got hired to do what now?” said a visibly appalled Franklin before leaving the interview to call her agent at CAA.
The petition scolding the Klan for its lack of diversity was first posted on Jezebel and subsequently went viral, appearing on Gawker, Huffington Post, and the Daily Beast, and gained traction on social media. Within the first three days of its posting the petition had generated more than 12,000 signatures, and by week’s end was near the 80,000 mark. The online screed points out the Klan’s severe lack of diversity in both its current membership as well as in years past. The petition notes that the Klan has never had a black or female Grand Wizard, nor even a head writer. The Klan hasn’t had a black female member since Ellen Cleghorne’s tenure in the early ‘90s.
Klan spokesman Dale Guddard announced the hiring at a press conference last week at the Denny’s off exit 108 near Huntsville, AL. He said the group was glad to have brought Franklin onboard, although he hadn’t yet spoken to her nor was even certain she was aware she’d been selected from their extensive search.
“We hired a fellow to read us the petition,” Guddard explained during a Q&A with reporters. “I assume he was Jewish. Anyway, when he read us the words that were on that computer petition, we knew we had to do something fast or face the backlash of the online community.
“All these years, when we wanted to stage effigies or mock trials of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, we had to make one of the boys put on a wig and a pantsuit or darken his face with makeup. It felt pretty outmoded. This is 2014; it’s not 1954. Although I wish it was.”
Katie Lehman, the Jezebel blogger who first posted the anonymous petition, said, “This is a positive first step, and shows the true importance of activist blogging.” She added that she can now devote more time to her efforts to have more Asian and Latina women from the LGBT community digitally inserted to old episodes of Seinfeld.”
Guest piece by non-racist Bryan Miller