A Montreal organization that lobbies against racial profiling is denouncing a Black artist over his award-winning puppet show it says promotes negative stereotypes.

"L'Incroyable Secret de Barbe noire" is a play put on by Martinique performer Franck Sylvestre around the province regularly for four to 11-year-old children.

Sylvestre uses a puppet in minstrel-style blackface as part of his show. He said in a French media interview that the image is not racist and that in his home of Martinique, that type of character is common.

Franck Sylvestre

The West Island Black Community Association and the Red Coalition are denouncing the use of the puppet and the Pointe-Claire city council for allowing the play to be staged.

The City of Beaconsfield has cancelled the Feb. 27 show.

"It is beside the point that Mr. Sylvestre is a Black man, it is not about him," the Red Coalition said in a news release. "It is about how this puppet is perceived by many in the community and the many children that will be affected by it, directly, indirectly, conscious, and subconsciously." 

Sylvestre has not yet responded to a request by CTV News Montreal for comment.