MCQP scraps Bollywood theme after outcry

2016-11-03 07:10

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Cape Town – The organisers of the Mother City Queer Project have scrapped Bollywood as its party theme for 2016, after complaints that this would be disrespectful to Indian people and their culture.

They announced on Wednesday that the “MCQP, The Musical” would replace “A Bollywood Production” on December 17.

MCQP director Ian McMahon said that they had listened to public commentary on social media and wanted to ensure that their 23rd “spectacle” was as inclusive as possible.

He said the new theme allowed for a wide variety of amazing outfits, characters, and creations.

“We’re delighted with the new theme choice and believe everyone is going to be equally excited.”

On its Facebook event page, users had criticised the Bollywood theme as “disrespectful, offensive and inappropriate”.

A complaint was also lodged with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

At the time organisers had assured that their intent of the theme “does not touch close to the religious aspects”.

‘We deserve an apology’

Mohamed Mollagee, who attended last year’s annual party, told News24 on Tuesday he believed the Indian community deserved an apology as the organisers “capitalise on the heritage and dress code sacred to millions of people”.

He took issue with “scantily-clad, mostly white gay men, getting drunk in traditional attire”, while not making any effort to assist in the lived realities of minority groups.

On Wednesday, he said the decision to change the theme was only the first step and a sincere apology was still needed.

“This is yet another poorly written PR statement that does not address any of the issues raised around the problematic nature of the previous choices made. I do not think we have been heard at all.”

McMahon said the new theme paid tribute to the theatrical world of Broadway and the West End.

It would honour everyone’s favourite musical productions.

“Whether one chooses new musicals currently showing in New York or London, like Kinky Boots, or classics like Cats, Grease, The Sound of Music, or Oklahoma – or any Rodgers and Hammerstein creation, there is without a doubt a character from a musical that will appeal to your personality and wet your taste buds at ‘MCQP, The Musical’.”

The event would be held at the ZipZap Circus Dome in the Foreshore.

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