Current StatusKnipp continues to performs his one-man show as Shirley Q. Liquor, Watusi Jenkins, and Betty Butterfield at various gay clubs throughout the U.S. amid an increasing number of protests and resulting cancellations. Knipp is also the narrater of the film Starbooty also starring RuPaul. Knipp, a Mississippi native, is a Quaker minister when not in drag.
FussDrag performers are known for their comedic monologues and quick one-liners, but when does comedic license turn into racist monologue?
Charles Knipp's characters are a modern-day spin on the "blackface" minstrel shows of the 1830's, popularized by Thomas D. Rice and his minstrel character "Jim Crow." Minstrel performers originated as white men who used burnt cork, later greasepaint or shoe polish to darken their skin. Their acts, just as Charles Knipp's, centered around the caricature of African-American people as lazy, overly-cheerful, uneducated and musical.
Though credited with exposing African-American culture to the mainstream, most modern day Americans see blackface impersonations as offensive and in bad taste. Thus, the controversy surrounding Charles Knipp as Shirley Q. Liquor.