(Montreal) A highly controversial children’s puppet show in February continues to be performed in the Montreal area.
Several black organizations criticized the play—The Incredible Secret of a Black Beard—because the puppet used by the artist reminded them of shows of yore put on by white actors who blacked out their faces.
These criticisms surprised the author of the show, the storyteller Franck Sylvestre, a Black. He defends himself by saying that the controversial puppet represents a caricature of himself. According to him, her detractors would not have judged her to be racist if they had seen the show.
The play was written in 2009. It is aimed at children aged five to nine. Mr. Sylvester says he had never received a complaint about her until February.
Max Stanley Bazin, president of the Black Coalition of Quebec, believes that Mr. Sylvestre should instead listen to members of the community concerned about the play who would like the puppet to change its appearance.
Mr. Sylvestre will begin a series of shows in Laval on Sunday. He must then fly away for a tour in France. The play will be performed there at least 30 times.