Mathew Halls, an acclaimed British conductor, has been removed from his position as the artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival after imitating a southern American accent while talking to a friend. 

Halls made the innocent joke to African-American classical singer Reginald Mobley who is a long time friend of the conductors.

The two had been talking at a reception, held last month during the Oregon Bach Festival, about a concert Mobley, who was born and raised in the southern state of Florida, performed in London.

During the conversation, Mobley said the concert had an “antebellum” feel to it. According to Mobley, Halls responded by apologizing “on behalf of England,” before putting on an exaggerated southern accent and asking: “Do you want some grits?”

According to the Telegraph, a white woman overheard the joke and reported it to officials at the University of Oregon, which runs the festival, while claiming it was a racial slur.

Halls was told shortly after the incident that his four-year contract, which would have run until 2020, was being terminated.

Mobley defended his friend by speaking out on the incident.

“He has been victimised and I’m very upset about it,” he said in an interview with the Telegraph. “It was an innocent joke that has been entirely taken out of context.”

“I’m from the deep south and Matthew often makes fun of the southern accent just as I often make fun of his British accent,” Mobley explained. “Race was not an issue. He was imitating a southern accent, not putting on a black accent, and there was nothing racist or malicious about it.”

Although Mobley has spoken out in support of his friend, he was not invited to give evidence for the internal inquiry into the incident.

“I’m the subject of a falsified story, without having the chance to have my say,” Mobley said while saying there is an irony in the fact that authorities have assumed he would have objected to the joke.

“My voice has been taken away in a conversation about race that involved me, and technically that’s racist,” he added.

“Matthew is obviously upset, and part of his anger would have to come from the fact he’s been accused of saying something so insensitive to a close friend,” he continued.

“A lot of our allies have become so eager to help the race and fix the scars they almost go too far,” Mobley explained, possibly in reference to the white woman that reported the joke. “They think they are at the point where they understand racism more than those who have really encountered it in their lives and they make assumptions on our behalf about how we might feel, as if we don’t understand when something said to us or done to use is racist.”

“It’s well meaning, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions,” he added. “It also demeans and cheapens the very serious work done by civil rights activists and abolitionists to have the difficult nuances of racism and microaggressions taken seriously.”

“The University considers many factors when deciding whether to continue a contract.  Regarding Reggie Mobley, it doesn’t appear he was involved in the University’s decision. Having said that, it would be inappropriate for the University to disclose details about a personnel matter,” said a spokesman for the Oregon Bach Festival in response to the claims. “While I anticipate that more information will be available soon, I’m afraid that’s all I can say on the matter right now.”

Featured Image Via Flickr/Francis Manguy


The Telegraph


  • Pearlbuck

    It’s ridiculous–but if he thinks someone imitating a black accent DOES deserve to be fired, then he got exactly what he deserved.

    • BooBooBaby

      He didn’t think that. He was making fun of a Southern American accent. Just like when his friend makes fun of an English accents.

      If this Nosey SJW Self Hating White Libt4rd Lady would have minded her own business this poor man’s life wouldn’t be ruined. She should have to come forward and show her face and first and lastname. What a Coward…..I hope Karma gets her!

  • Race baiting coming to a neighborhood near you. You are next. Doesn’t matter how “enlightened” you think you are, it will get you.

  • GreeLee

    I think both sides should be able to joke at the other’s expense without fear. There’s too much political correctness already.

    • Green Dog

      Not quite e same, but if you had to keep things non offensive, then comedy would die.

      • BooBooBaby

        So, it would not be the same if the Black man did an English Accent and made a joke!? Lolz! Yes, it would be the Same Thing!

  • Green Dog

    When a “racist joke” between two friends gets blown out of proportion and the person being told is the race that is being “subjugated.” They tell us to listen to black voices and then shut one out. I don’t even know how to think about this.

    • ytuque

      Was it racist?

  • ytuque

    Nothing more obnoxious than white knighting whites getting butt-hurt on behalf of minorities. They’re just virtue signaling d–bags!

    • Ruth Gauthier

      It is called the “white man’s burden” and the left is infected with it.

    • Dudley Morris

      Getting offended on behalf of others is one of the things SWPL types – ie, upper middle class white liberals – like best.

      • BooBooBaby

        Lower Class SJW Ignorant Self Hating White Libt4rd Types are famous for this too.

  • Emmie

    Who is the woman who made the complaint? I say record every conversation she has from now on and fine her and inhibit her right to work if she says anything anyone else finds upsetting. She is unbelievably ignorant.

    • Chisai Lilly

      I also put even more of the blame on the creeps who did all this but never even asked the people involved instead of just the eves dropper…and fired this good man…for absolutely nothing…THEY are to blame more than anyone

      • megajess

        It’s OreGONE! Those people are nuts.

    • artiefischel

      The question I was going to ask. I would think she would want to have her name shouted to the world for her brave blow against racism. This just makes it seem like some part of her realizes she’s just a government informer, a fink, a rat, a snitch, a stoolie, a cockroach.

  • ytuque

    The lesson is clear–don’t joke with black people.

    • Ada Williams

      Well, its becoming so that you can’t talk to anyone of different race to you. Especially if you are white. Retreat into our tribe for protection. The informers will be obvious and ostracized out of our tribe. This has been created, rampant tribalism. Do not engage with anyone outside your tribe, except for the minimum required for work or in health institutions etc. Do not engage them in ANY conversation at all, except the bare minimum as described above. Reduce your friendships with them, it could cost you your job, such a ‘friendship’ if you say something without realizing it. People are already discussing having tribal areas set aside. Making countries within countries . Along the lines of how India became 3 countries. Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. With most Muslims moving to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

      • ytuque

        If one slip of the tongue can get you fired or cause the SJW locusts do descend upon you, why risk joking around with black people? I already feel that I have to be careful what I say around blacks, and it’s just not the n-word which they are free to use.

        • BooBooBaby

          I understand what you are saying and I am mixed races and nationalities.

          But I am getting sick of tired of walking on Eggshells. We All have to put our foots down to all this BS.

          • ytuque

            Only those of us who are not reliant on corporate or government jobs can fight the SJW sickness that infects the West.

    • BooBooBaby

      Don’t joke in public in front of Whiny SJW Loony Lying Racist Race Baiting Filthy Libt4rd Snowflakes of any Race.

      • ytuque

        But feel free to insult any straight white guys of the non-Islamic variety.

      • megajess

        Just stay out of Oregon. They have gone over the edge for quite some time now.

  • Bill Rowland

    The thought police strike again.

  • jane171307

    I’ve never thought of Florida as part of the south. It’s mostly snowbirds that have moved there for retirement or the weather.

    • Jean Collier

      british think it is south

    • femme_du_chats

      Parts of Florida are very…Southern.

  • Rick Smith

    That’s what he gets for agreeing to work with a consortium of libs.

  • Dudley Morris

    Frail white women ruin everything.

    • BooBooBaby

      No, just the White Guilt SJW Ignorant Libt4rds. This also goes for the Chip on the Shoulders Racist Black Hateful Libt4rds too. Lolz!

  • Chisai Lilly

    “Almost go too far”…Went way too far…

  • RBLan

    I have a feeling the PC police are going to lose this one. For the wrong reason of course: The accused’s Black defender, who even played the race card legitimately to trump (pardon the expression) the plaintiffs low-value race card. I say the PCers will lose for the wrong reason because the need to defend oneself from such a charge is an outrage to start with and the plaintiff should have been told, “Don’t make a mountain out of a mustard seed. We know this man and his life proves he is no racist. Have a nice day.”

    If I’m right then I urge everyone to heap as much humiliation on the PC police as possible. Boy, have they earned it!

  • Chisai Lilly

    I also put even more of the blame on the creeps who did all this but
    never even asked the people involved instead of just the nosy eves
    dropper…and fired this good man…for absolutely nothing…THEY are to
    blame more than anyone

  • Libby Taylor

    If the black man had put on an English accent and asked if his friend want tea and toast, would the stupid female have reported this as racist? If not, why not? The University needs to answer that simple question

  • Peter Toth

    A snowflake, who obviously is also a brown shirt, took offense. That’s all that is needed to ruin a career, or ones lifetime of achievements today. This is how far modern society has fallen. When will this downward spiral of political correctness, and tyranny of the minority end?

  • BoomerBabe

    Oregon is a disgrace to the rest of the country.

  • Bride of Chucky

    I didn’t realize that only blacks ate grits. Stupid fucking leftist cunt. Not only is she a meddling busybody bitch, she is downright stupid.

  • Ada Williams

    This is so like how Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany operated. They ran on informers. People’s lives were destroyed and often they were executed . All caused by these vicious scum. One day however, there will be retribution, as there has been throughout history. Lets not forget even one of these scum creeps names.

  • PunJabber

    Cause of death: Oregon failure, brought about by exposure to disgusting vermin (the woman who bravely tipped the Stasi).

  • Roger Edward Harris

    Egad, no sense of humor in the liberal endless quest to find some thing to be offended at. Like where to pee.

  • BooBooBaby

    This is an unfortunate lesson to us ALL, you never know when a White or Black or Other SJW Loony Lying Racist Race Baiting Brainwashed Whiny Unhinged Ignorant Nosey Busy Buddy Hypocrite Snowflake Filthy Libt4rd is around to cause problems!

    Be careful! They’re Insane! They make things up and exaggerate Sheeett too. They also like to record things….but not from the beginning, when they usually Started it!

  • BooBooBaby

    This is an unfortunate lesson to us ALL, you never know when a White or Black or Other SJW Loony Lying Racist Race Baiting Brainwashed Whiny Unhinged Ignorant Nosey Busy Buddy Hypocrite Snowflake Filthy Libt4rd is around to cause problems!

    Be careful! They’re Insane! They make things up and exaggerate Sheeett too. They also like to record things….but not from the beginning, when they usually Started it!!

  • Tym O’Byrne

    Liberals suffer from a terminal case of Projection.

  • Rusty Esq

    First and foremost, a big thank you to the Telegraph, who consistently seem to use common sense. Maybe, the Guardian and BBC could learn a thing or two.

    Secondly, both Jordan Peterson and Milo have talked about humour being the first target of tyrants on their path to totalitarianism.

    Thirdly, we’ve created a police state where a virtue signaller like this woman is rewarded. Is there any accountability back on to her? Her defenders, the Michael Moores of this world would label critics of this woman as “angry white men” or “white supremacists”. He wouldn’t suggest twice that the damage she’s done (especially unfounded damage) should have repercussions.

    Fourth, why was the gentleman who was “supposedly offended” not given due consideration? Is identity politics such a closed loop that the stakeholders aren’t even consulted?

    Guys, can you please put links to contact these decision makers? If people don’t contact the virtue signallers/SJWs stating objections, these people will continue to think they’re respected. If these virtue signallers are flooded with reasoned arguments, it makes it hard to ignore.

  • Defiant Rebel ✓ᴰᴱᴾᴸᴼᴿᴬᴮᴸᴱ

    [Drawing firearm] Microaggress this, snowflake dbags!

  • megajess

    It happened in Oregon if I read the article correctly. Oregon is quite frankly filled to the brim with bat shite crazy SJW’s. Free speech in Oregon! Ha! It’s best to stay away from that entire Washington, California & Oregon area. Unless of course you nuts too.

    • femme_du_chats

      Nope. Portland. Corvallis. Eugene. Bend. Those are the SJW-heavy areas. Rural Oregon’s doing just fine, thank you, and we’d like you to stop coming up and Californicating up our state.

      • megajess

        I’m from the NE, sorry if I insulted you. But I just read the craziest stuff coming out of the Pacific NW. Such a gorgeous area! I truly think it’s beautiful there.

  • Jim

    Everything is racist according from the left.

  • Kimmy3

    The problem is the nosey-ass woman. She sounds like a scientologist always snitching on her comrades. Why that little bitch!

  • Dante Alighieri ????

    Ya, and how many Americans don’t affect a British accent so badly it’s worthy of imprisonment ?
    The slow, slow decay of Liberal dementia.