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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A controversy has emerged from Tuesday’s Mummers Parade after Finnegan New Year’s Brigade performed a skit that took aim at City Hall and last year’s “Made In America” spat, portraying Jay-Z treating Mayor Jim Kenney like a dog.
In a statement, City Council President Darrell Clarke criticized the group for using a performer in blackface.
It turns out, however, that the performer portraying Jay-Z is a mummer who is black and not in blackface.
“We submitted our skit to the city and they said under one condition, Jay-Z has to be a black American. I said that’s great, we have a couple guys in our club, let me ask them. He agreed and I was Mayor Kenney as Jay-Z’s lap dog,” said Michael Inemer of the brigade.
Clarke issued a follow-up statement, reading in part: “Many people who viewed clips of this performance, including myself, believed a performer portraying Jay-Z was a non-black person in blackface. We believed this was yet another skit demeaning people of color, because every year Philadelphians are embarrassed and outraged by a few Mummers Parade performers displaying bigotry and intolerance.”