The allegations that were released in the piece in this publication on July 2nd, 2022 regarding New York City nightlife titan The Q and between owners Alan Picus, Frankie Sharp, and Bob Fluet reverberated throughout New York City nightlife and beyond the moment they were released. While Bob Fluet did release a detailed statement on allegations of racism, underage patrons, and transphobia (among other egregious behavior) in the previous article, the voice of nightlife impresario Frankie Sharp remained silent-until now.
While Sharp abstained on providing commentary for the initial article, his commentary on Instagram was concise and direct. Sharp spoke to the culture at The Q in detail, and the alleged “gaslighting” that he claimed occurred by his partners, allegedly in an effort “to gain access to his “intellectual property, access to his celebrity investors etc”. Sharp went on to say that those very celebrity investors are also “taking immediate steps to separate themselves from this doomed collaboration”. Sharp also linked the original article from this publication and ended by saying that “There is much more to tell-watch this space”. Response was immediate, with nightlife notables like Boomer Banks, Richard Cortez, Greg Scarnici & Los Angeles drag dynamo Rhea Litre all showing their unyielding support for Sharp in the comments of that post.
Response from New York City nightlife was immediate and severe. Famed queens like Jada Valenciaga pulled the show Lady Gay from The Q immediately (it will resume in two weeks at New York City hotspot The Spot), while other shows like The Cake Boys and East Meets Fierce both chose not to continue their runs at The Q. Podcasts like BYLATINMEN and The Adam Sank Show either discussed or will be discussing the allegations and subsequent fallout on their podcasts, and RuPaul’s Drag Race performers Honey Davenport and Olivia “Liv” Lux both posted about the allegations on Instagram. Davenport’s post also linked to a “NYC QTPOC Nightlife Caucus Meeting” that was set up to discuss “any discrimination issues working in any NYC space”, an idea sparked by nightlife performer Neon Calypso.
One other performer who publicly spoke out about the state of New York City nightlife was New York City megastar Kizha Carr, who spoke about departing nightlife establishment Hush, who, “in light of everything that is coming out about The Q” has taken the show Melanated out of Hush (while Carr does remain “immensely proud of the work they have done”). Carr fully intends to find a place that “feels like a safe space and supports people that look like us”. (The Q co-owner Bob Fluet also owns Hush with business partner Rob Hynds). Incidentally, Boxers NYC/Hush released a statement on their own Instagram, saying in part that the “accused creative director from The Q has no affiliation to Boxers NYC or Hush” and that Boxers NYC & Hush “have and always will strive to be a safe space for the LGBTQ and BIPOC communities”.
The Q did respond on social media late yesterday in a lengthy message and indicated that they have taken action to “ending the very division in our community that Q’s programming and mission were designed to combat”. With that in mind, Alan Picus has been officially removed as Executive Producer of The Q, with Luis Fernando (who was hired mid-June as Creative Director) taking over Picus’ role role as Executive Producer of The Q.
NYC Queens like Gloria Swansong & Lola Michelle-Kiki both asked for further accountability, specifically whether or not Alan Picus would be continuing on as an owner in addition to being the new “Executive Director”. Photographer Davide Laffe reiterated a story in the comments stating “As a person of color who worked there I was told to take pictures of only beautiful people by Alan when I really knew that his focus was to only shoot white men with abs. ( or people he deemed fuckable) It goes beyond hiring a person of color so it can look good it matters in your practices. Theres too many clubs in nyc where this has happened. As a QPOC I was let go from a weekly fri / sat night Gig at the Q based on something someone white said. It looked bad for business and i was axed with no question. How many people of color have been dismissed from a job because of their white counterparts”.
(Comments on the The Q NYC page have since been ceased, while the same post on the The Q NYC page for the first floor cabaret space look to be significantly pared down. The names and quotes in the final paragraph of this page were documented prior to the possible removal of said commentary).
Follow Frankie Sharp on Instagram
Follow The Q Club on Instagram
Follow Kizha Carr on Instagram
Follow Neon Calypso on Instagram
Follow Davide Laffe on Instagram