Redbridge Libraries and Mandinga Arts have issued apologies for the costume
A group of performers was hired to promote the nature-themed Summer Reading Challenge 2021 at Redbridge Central Library on Saturday.
However, many people were shocked to see one of them was dressed in a rainbow monkey outfit with fake male genitalia and described the costume as “inappropriate”.
Online footage shows the performers running out of the library and the mock appendage being swung at passing vehicles.
Mandinga Arts, who provided the performers, said they “apologise for the offence caused” on Twitter.
“We never intended to offend residents,” read a statement. “Actions are being taken, more information to follow.”
Redbridge Libraries also issued an apology on social media: “During an event put on at the library today there was a performance by a Carnival Arts Company.
“Unfortunately one of the animal costumes was inappropriate which we were not aware of at the time of booking.
“This event was arranged by Vision and not Redbridge Council.
“Upon receiving complaints passed on by the Leader and Deputy Leader, we ceased the performance and are truly apologetic for the distress caused to residents. This will never happen again.”
Leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, said immediate action has been taken.
He reassured residents an investigation has been launched “to ensure something like this can’t happen again”.
I was appalled by the event our independent leisure contractor organised at Redbridge Libraries on Saturday.
I have launched a full investigation into the incident and will put stringent measures in place to ensure something like this can’t happen again.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/0RtHL4hjVz
— Jas Athwal (@Jas_Athwal) July 12, 2021
Mandinga Arts provide street performers for events based on European, Latin American and African traditions.
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