Puppet show with song about rape upsets Verdun parents
Some potty-mouthed puppets have upset Verdun parents who were expecting family-friendly entertainment.
The families were attending last weekend’s annual puppet festival when they instead witnessed a show featuring a graphic song about prison rape.
“It seemed like some kind of joke that they would think this would be an appropriate songs to sing in front of a crowd of families and young kids,” said parent Ronit Milo. “I can’t imagine that the organizers believed they would put on a song about prison rape. I think maybe they could have asked more questions to get an idea of what they had in mind but ultimately, I think the puppeteers could have exercised more judgment.”
Milo posted video of the performance, which was written by American comedian Rodney Carrington and performed by local troupe Cabaret Decadance, on Facebook. In the video a puppet is seen pantomiming to a song entitled "Prison Bitch," in which violent, non-consensual sexual acts are described in the lyrics.
Organizers refused to comment but did post an apology on the Promenade Wellington Facebook page. In the apology, they said they had been unaware of the offending show’s content and said such an event had been unprecedented in the festival’s six-year history.
“The truth is that this situation is the result of a series of small, cumulative mistakes and, as organizers, we must take responsibility for it,” they wrote. “We sincerely regret the discomfort felt by the parents present, and for lacking vigilance regarding the content of a show that had been a success at Just For Laughs and other international events.”
The organizers said they are sensitive to the presence of children at their festival and are disappointed in themselves for exposing them to the show’s subject matter.
In a statement, Cabaret Decadanse, who describes their show as a ‘sassy feast for adults,’ added, “only one of the songs was offensive to a parent, who quickly took it upon herself to create controversy."
Milo said she’s satisfied with the response, and said she would go back to the festival in future.