PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Stu Bykofsky rejected most of the criticism received by the Mummers after another controversial parade that was viewed by many as racist and sexist.
Bykofsky, who writes for the Philadelphia Daily News, told Dom Giordano on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that he had few problems with one brigade’s parody of Caitlyn Jenner that drew a lot of outrage on social media.
“I had some interchange with a captain of Finnegan’s over the weekend and he stands by the routine and so do I. It is protected speech, first of all. Clearly it was satire. They do this kind of stuff, not Bruce Jenner, but they make fun of people, for instance, Donald Trump, who got his in the parade. One of the things the Mummers do is, the comic division and the wench division, they do satirize things. They mock things. They make fun of people. They make fun of institutions. The Mayor always gets it. The President always get it. It doesn’t matter. The one element of the routine that I did have a problem with was they showed a picture of Bruce Jenner on Wheaties and then showed Caitlyn on Fruit Loops.”
He defended the Mummers as a whole and said anyone breaking the rules is kicked out when caught.
“It is a uniquely Philadelphian tradition. There is more sensitivity today than ever in the past. Black face was thrown out of the parade 50 years ago. So, every once in a while, there’s one guy who slips in. Now, if a parade marshal sees him in that group, in black face, he will be ejected from the parade. It’s not permitted. Neither is bank robbery, and yet bank robbery happens. It’s not the Mummer’s fault that every once in a while some idiot wants to break the rules. If he’s seen, he is ejected and you’ve got to judge them for what their intent is and for 99 percent of them, which is out there to have a good time.”
Bykofsky insisted that social media plays too much of a driving force behind a lot of outrage.
“Every year, it’s another manufactured controversy. I think, largely, it’s the result of social media. I don’t read my Twitter account. I just put stuff out. I made the mistake of, a couple of days ago, responding to some people and it’s pointless. So, I don’t respond to anything and, at this point, I don’t read anything either because are going on what they heard, not what they saw.”