How many fairies, exactly?Op-ed
Alright, so Opera on the Avalon has a sense of humour. They put up a billboard to advertise Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of two shows the program will present this summer in St. John’s, Newfoundland. The billboard, I thought, was funny. The slogan for Midsummer was, “Filled with more fairies than St. John’s on Pride Day.” Snort.
But, of course, some people had their feelings hurt. Among those complaining is Noah Davis-Power, former president of St. John’s Pride, Inc. “I think humour is a great tool to make difficult issues more palatable and can be used toward educating people who do have issues with it, but I think that using words like that … when you’re putting that on corporate-sized billboards, that takes the humour too far,” he said.
In response to everyone who claimed to be offended, Opera on the Avalon Artistic Director Cheryl Hickman responded, ”We apologize,” she said. ”That wasn’t our intent. We don’t want to offend anyone.“ After receiving what were probably annoyingly few complaints about the billboard, Opera on the Avalon decided to take it down, and replace it with an ad for OOTA’s other show this summer, La bohème. Said Cheryl, ”We are an inclusive company and we want everyone to come see our shows and to enjoy these, and if anyone is offended, we want to address that right away.”
For what it’s worth, I thought it was funny. I never understand people who decide that because they’re offended, someone else has to take action. That just doesn’t follow. And, I mean, if you keep telling everyone that “fairy” is offensive, people will keep taking it as such. There, those are my two shiny pennies.
You can watch Cheryl’s response to the media flurry here.
What do you guys think? Tough crowd? Let us know in the comments below!