Winter Wonderland apologises for 'disgusting' minstrel posters
Winter Wonderland apologises for ‘disgusting’ minstrel posters after outraged visitors spot them near festive attraction’s circus-themed bar
- Two large posters were spotted alongside the circus bar area of the festival
- One TikTok video showing the wall coverings was viewed nearly 60,000 times
- Winter Wonderland said it had removed the posters
Visitors to Winter Wonderland have branded posters of white performers in blackface ‘disgusting’ as organisers of the festive attraction were forced to apologise.
Two large posters were spotted alongside a circus bar area depicting minstrel performers, whose acts were based on racist stereotypes in the 19th and 20th centuries, while several more were spotted around the whole Hyde Park site in London.
Festival-goers expressed their shock after one TikTok video showing the wall coverings was viewed nearly 60,000 times.
The video was captured by Nazlee Radboy, who said she did a ‘double take’ when she noticed the minstrel performance poster during a visit to Winter Wonderland on Wednesday, December 6.
She captioned her video: ‘Idc if these posters are “fake” or “a part of circus history,” think we should question why we still have circuses to begin with.’
Festival-goers expressed their shock after one TikTok video showing the wall coverings was viewed nearly 60,000 times
Two large posters were spotted alongside a circus bar area depicting minstrel performers, whose acts were based on racist stereotypes in the 19th and 20th centuries,
The video was captured by Nazlee Radboy on TikTok, who said she did a ‘double take’ when she noticed the minstrel performance poster during a visit to Winter Wonderland last Wednesday
The poster seen in the video was found on circus-themed wall coverings on display by a bar near the festival’s circus.
It is a print advertising a circus show from 1900 by the De Elmar Trio, an acrobatic dance troupe that was put together by William H West, a so-called ‘progressive minstrel’, but typically the shows were performed by white men who would do comedic performances based on racist racial stereotypes with blackface.
This style of performance was popular in the US during the 19th century, concurrently with slavery, and peaked in popularity around the mid-19th century.
In the UK, The Black and White Minstrel Show ran on the BBC for 20 years between 1958 to 1978.
One visitor said: ‘Absolutely disgusting! Won’t be getting a penny of my money!’
Another reacted: ‘I don’t understand what this has to do with Winter Wonderland.’
Winter Wonderland started in 2005 as a small funfair but is now one of the biggest Christmas events in the world, running for six weeks and attracting millions of visitors from around the world.
Nicky, 37, a liaison officer, was one of those who complained to Royal Parks about the posters.
She told Yahoo News: ‘In a day and age of awareness, how can such posters be displayed yet alone used?’
Royal Parks forwarded Nicky’s complaint onto Winter Wonderland who apologised and said it had removed the posters.
A spokesperson for Winter Wonderland told Nicky: ‘After being made aware of offensive imagery on a vintage vinyl wall covering at one of the venues at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, we took immediate action to remove from view several posters.
‘The experience and wellbeing of our visitors is our utmost priority, and we apologise for any upset caused.’
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