PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Mummers are getting ready for their upcoming Mardi Gras show later this month. But before they move on, they are addressing the blackface issues that happened at their New Year’s Day parade.
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The Mummers say they heard Mayor Jim Kenney’s threat to cancel their New Year’s Day parade loud and clear.
“Sure, we’re scared of it. That’s why we’re taking this whole situation seriously,” John Pignatti of the String Band Division said.
The Mummers said they learned their lesson that blackface won’t be tolerated at their parade.
“This isn’t a joke or anything. We’re serious,” Pignatti said. “We hear what the mayor says and we’re going to address it and make it work.”
In January, Kenney threatened the Mummers that he would shut down their New Year’s Day parade if the blackface issues weren’t addressed.READ MORE: Josh Shapiro, Doug Mastriano To Face Off In November Election For Governor Of Pennsylvania
On Jan. 1, two people representing the Froggy Carr Club showed up to the parade in blackface. The men insisted they were not in blackface but it resulted in the club being disqualified from competition.
“There were over 10,000 marchers on New Years Day. Two people did a despicable, disgusting act, that unfortunately is reflected upon the rest of that marched,” Tom Loomis of the String Band Association said.
At the mayor’s request, the String Band Association and other Mummers groups held a meeting to address the issue. They also met with members of Philadelphia City Council.
“I’m pretty happy the direction this is going in. The Mummers have stepped up and really taken ownership of it and hopefully that will continue as this moves forward,” Councilman Mark Squilla said.
“We want to make sure that we, as Mummers, remain the face of Philadelphia in a positive light,” Loomis said.MORE NEWS: John Fetterman Wins Democratic Pennsylvania Primary For Senate, AP Projects
The mayor’s office said they had productive meetings with the different Mummers groups. Additional meetings are being planned.