PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Finnegan New Year’s Brigade has received lots of criticism for their Mummers Parade performance, which was centered around Caitlyn Jenner.
Some have deemed it “homophobic.” Mayor-elect Jim Kenney tweeted “Our Trans Citizens do not deserve this type of satire/insult.”
But Finnegan captain Michael Inemer Sr. says that was not their intention.
“We meant no harm,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “We intended to be funny. This is isolated clearly just to Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn Jenner.”
Finnegan NYB is part of the Comics Division, and Inemer Sr. says humor was their only goal:
“We had no idea it would end up like this. We watch Saturday Night Live and Bruce Jenner and Caitlyn created this whole story all year long.”
But Levana Layendecker with Equality Pennsylvania tells KYW Newsradio there was nothing funny about what they did:
“Transgender women experience violence in their everyday lives. I hope that the Mummers and the Finnegans NYB really take that to heart and try to understand that better.”
She says this goes beyond humor:
“That type of teasing shows the complete lack of understanding of what transgender people face.”
“I was disgusted and disheartened to learn of the transphobic, biased performance(s) during the Mummers Parade,” adds Helen Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs for the city. “The Finnegan brigade’s so-called social commentary crossed the line into hateful and harmful.”
Inemer apologized to anyone who was offended, reiterating that was not their goal, and says the group now hopes to make amends:
“We would like to reach out and meet with the LGBT community to fix this.”
A member of Finnegan NYB who was caught on camera yelling anti-gay slurs during the parade has been banned by the brigade and is no longer allowed to be a Mummer.
Inemer says that person’s actions were not part of their skit.