Parents Outraged At Quebec Puppet Show

Organizers of a puppet festival in Verdun, Quebec, apologized after a song about prison rape was performed in front of many small children on a public stage mid-August.  

Photo: Facebook

The song, called “Prison Bitch,” was performed as part of the Marionnettes Plein la Rue festival and was captured on video by Ronit Milo, who attended the festival with her 3-year-old son, husband and mother-in-law, according to the National Post.

Milo posted the video on Facebook and contains the offending song lyrics.

“You’re my prison bitch, my prison bitch,” “I’ll never say goodbye.” “You’re not like the others. Too bad they had to die. ”

Milo told the Post that most of the show put on by the troupe Cabaret Décadanse wasn’t inappropriate.

The “Prison Bitch” song caught the audience completely off-guard. “The whole performance was more for adults, but there wasn’t any shocking material or anything else of a violent nature,” Milo explained, adding that warnings about the content should have been issued by the performers, or at least by the festival

The Facebook video drew more than 15,000 views by Aug. 30 and showed several children dancing around the stage while the song was being played. Milo said her son was too young to understand the song’s message, but there were several children in the audience who could have been influenced by it. Festival organizer Promenade Wellington acknowledged it made a mistake by allowing that song to be performed and both it and the performers are to blame, the Post reported.

“We became aware of a part of a performance that was not comfortable for several people in the audience. We share this feeling, and it’s amplified by the fact there was a large number of children present,” organizers said in a Facebook statement.

“This situation is the result of several errors that occurred, and as organizers, we have to assume the blame,” the statement continued. “We sincerely apologize that this was uncomfortable for parents, and we’re sorry we lacked vigilance about the content of the show. Yes, the artists could have judged this to be inappropriate because there were children in the audience, but we should have caught this before it became an issue.”

Cabaret Décadanse puppeteer Serge Deslauriers told CBC that he told one of the organizers the performance was an adult-oriented show and scheduling the troupe at an all-ages event was a mistake.