Controversial show: the puppet will not change its face

Show controversial: the puppet will not change its face

The puppet of the artist of Franco-Martinican origin Franck Sylvestre, whose show The Incredible Secret of Blackbeard had caused controversy, will not change its face.

Despite complaints from certain associations such as the West Island Black Community Association (WIBCA) and several cancellations of his play, Franck Sylvestre does not retract and maintains that his puppet is “just an exaggeration of himself”.

In particular, the author of the show aimed at children aged 4 to 11 is criticized for echoing the minstrel shows, those racist American representations of the 1820s during which white men blackened their faces and turned ridicule the attributes of colored people.

The artist believes that past racist cartoons should not stop him from producing his own cartoon.

“It’s unheard of,” he confided in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Successive cancellations

The play had drawn the wrath of several groups and citizens in February. The latter tells the story of a boy who unearths a mysterious box containing a 400-year-old secret. There he discovers the incredible story of the unfortunate Blackbeard, the famous controversial puppet.

Elected officials in Beaconsfield had ruled in favor of canceling the play, which was to be performed at the Herb Linder Annex, a civic hall adjoining City Hall, on February 27.

In Pointe-Claire, the show had been removed from the programming of the commemorations of Black History Month.

Franck Sylvestre says he never had a problem with his play until last February. The artist will take to the stage this Sunday in Laval. The puppet will then fly to France where 30 performances are scheduled.

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