Ex-Cop's Blackface Performance Canceled

A planned fundraiser for the six Baltimore police officers indicted in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray was canceled on Wednesday, following backlash over its scheduled entertainment to have an ex-cop perform in blackface. Bobby Berger, who was fired from the city police in the 1980s over his blackface performances, was planning to revive the routine to raise money for the families of the officers. Berger impersonates white entertainer Al Jolson, most famous for his blackface performance "Mammy" in the film The Jazz Singer. The venue's owner dropped the event after news of planned act sparked public backlash. Michael's Eighth Avenue announced the cancellation on Facebook, adding it "does not condone blackface performances of any kind." Berger had earlier said there is not "one iota of racial overtones" in the act.