West End actor claims to have been ‘racially profiled’ at top Edinburgh Fringe venue

A West End actor has lashed out at treatment from a Fringe venue.
A West End actor has lashed out at treatment from a Fringe venue.

A WEST end star was refused entry to a top Fringe venue by “racial profiling” bouncers, he claims.

Layton Williams, best known as one of the boys who played the title role in Billy Elliot the Musical, took to social media to rage against his treatment yesterday at Assembly Festival.

And he drew huge support from others last night as his post and video went viral and prompted criticism of security at the venue.

“A way to ruin my @edfringe experience!,” the 23-year-old actor posted. I just got KICKED OUT of @AssemblyFest coz I looked “suspicious” !

“After asking security the reason why, apparently I looked liked someone who jumped the fence 2 weeks ago.”

He followed it up with a second tweet alleging a woman security guard “flipped a finger at him” when he asked their names to make a complaint.

“Call it profiling or call it racial profiling. Whatever it is, it was a joke and I hope they don’t do this to anyone else again!” he added.

Mr Williams said he also “calmly” reported the incident to police - who “didn’t seem to think they could do anything but “have a word”

Fellow actor and Eastenders star Danny-Boy Hatchard posted a picture apparently of the woman security guard making the rude gesture.

He posted with the photograph: “Look at her. Couldn’t give a s**t... Good to know you have high standards when hiring Security .@AssemblyFest Is racial profiling a requirement?”

Twitter lit up with support for the English actor from festival goers, fans and fellow actors - some claiming to have endured similar experiences.

Callum Francis posted: “That hideous women that flipped you off. No. That’s not cool. Hope that gets fixed.”

Sharon Burgess MD Assembly Festival said: “Assembly Festival would like to apologise for how the incident in George Square Gardens was handled by our staff and security last night.

“We are currently looking into the situation with our security contractor and will be investigating this further.

“Assembly would like to reassure all performers and audiences that we are committed to making sure that our spaces remain welcoming for everyone attending our shows and using our venues. “