13 July 2021, 06:52 | Updated: July 13, 2021, 07:48
Fear of social media was unleashed after a library in London held an event to encourage children to read, where an actor dressed in a bare-knit monkey costume with a fake penis appeared.
Angry parents were hit by the actor dressed in a multicolored outfit with fake genitals, was brought out as part of an event to encourage children to look at more books during the holidays.
The footage shared online showed members of the Mandiga Arts Group at the Redbridge Libraries Summer Reading Challenge event at the Goodmayes Library.
Three artists were filmed outside the event, wearing a rainbow monkey costume with a fake penis and a bare bottom.
Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari at Breakfast Redbridge Conservative councilor Anita Boateng branded the decision to hire the dance troupe as “absolutely bizarre” and said she had been made “speechless”.
Principal Has Ahmed said: “This is apparently meant to encourage children in Redbridge to pick up reading for the summer.
“Tell me the reason behind these obscene costumes that were shown to families and made public. Is this really necessary?”
After a stream of complaints online, it led to a number of politicians speaking.
Council leader Jas Athwal said he was “appalled” by the event and had taken steps to ensure it “could not happen again.”
I was shocked by the event that our independent leisure contractor organized at Redbridge Libraries on Saturday.
I have launched a full investigation into the incident and will take strict measures to ensure that something like this does not happen again.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/0RtHL4hjVz
– Jas Athwal (@Jas_Athwal) July 12, 2021
Local MP Wes Streeting expressed his concern, asking how “everyone involved – including your staff – thought a costume described by a national journalist – with depressing accuracy – as a ‘Rainbow D * ldo Butt Monkey’ , was appropriate for family audiences around our libraries and the public realm, let alone a festival aimed at promoting reading skills among children. ”
Redbridge Libraries has since apologized and assured that “this will never happen again.”
“During an event held at the library today, there was a performance by a Carnival Arts Company.
“Unfortunately, one of the animal costumes was inappropriate, which we were not aware of at the time of booking,” they tweeted.
“We deeply regret the offense that was caused. This is being investigated. ”
1/2 During an event held at the library today, there was a performance by a Carnival Arts Company. Unfortunately, one of the animal costumes was inappropriate, which we were not aware of at the time of booking. We deeply regret the offense caused. This is being investigated
– Redbridge Libraries (@RedbridgeLibs) July 10, 2021
A spokesman for Mandinga Arts said: “We apologize for the offense that was caused while raising awareness of the Redbridge Libraries reading campaign on 10 July.
“We never intended to offend the residents. We respect everyone’s individual opinion without any insult to any part. Steps are being taken, more information will follow.”
We apologize for any inconvenience caused as we raised awareness of the Redbridge Libraries’ reading campaign on 10 July. We never intended to offend the residents. We respect everyone’s individual opinion without any insult to anyone. Actions are being taken, more information needs to be followed.
– Mandinga Arts (@ Mandinga_Arts1) July 11, 2021
Council Chairman Jas Athwal added that all future performances have been canceled.
Mandiga Arts Group also apologized for the guilty act.
“We never intended to offend the residents. We respect everyone’s individual opinion without offending anyone, ”they wrote.