GMB viewers have been annoyed by a debate over the posting of trigger warnings on pantomimes, after Cambridge sweethearts issued a warning about their production of Rapunzel.
Tru Powell, from Birmingham, appeared on Good Morning Britain today and said the university was right to use trigger warnings because “subconscious messages” in shows can negatively affect people.
The entrepreneur, a social commentator who advocates equal representation of all races, genders, and sexualities, claimed that pantos “can put people in a space where they can’t control their emotions.”
But actress Linda Lusardi, who has starred in pantomimes regularly for the past 30 years, said adults usually already know the show’s themes and she’s never had a complaint about the content.
It comes after the Amateur Dramatic Club at the University of Cambridge warned people about to see a version of Rapunzel from the famed comedy group that it contains snippets of “kidnapping, homophobia, sexism, drug and alcohol abuse.”
Tru Powell, from Birmingham, appeared on Good Morning Britain today and said pantos should have trigger warnings because ‘subconscious messages’ can put people in a space where they can’t control their emotions’
Actress Linda Lusardi, who has starred in pantomimes regularly for the past 30 years, says adults usually already know the show’s themes.
Tru says we “really” need the warnings because the comedy shows “do have themes that could be harmful to others.”
“When we talk about trigger alerts, we’re giving the public the information so they can make informed decisions about whether to place them in a space that can really trigger harmful emotions.
“I don’t see anything wrong with content with a trigger warning if there are scenes that can be triggered. I think it’s really problematic to think that because it’s a pantomime and it’s a family-friendly event, they’re not harmful.
“They can be very harmful and it can put people in a space where they can’t control their emotions. There’s nothing wrong with your audience making informed decisions about whether they want to be in that space or not, or even mentally prepare themselves.’
Linda, from London, disagreed with Tru: ‘I think most British adults know what they’re going to see when they go to a pantomime, they’ve all read the stories’
Linda, from London, disagreed:’I think most British adults know what they’re going to see when they go to a pantomime, they’ve all read the stories.
“No child goes alone, they go with an adult and an adult decides whether the storyline is appropriate or not. If you’re going to put these warnings on pantomimes, put them on everything.”
Footlights’ new pantomime production looks like a new take on the Brothers Grimm story Rapunzel, promising “a celebration of individuality and self-love” with “a weird and colorful bang.”
ADC Theatre, which is considered the smallest department at the University of Cambridge, said it has provided the notes to help people choose what to watch.
ADC Theater (pictured), which is considered the smallest department at the University of Cambridge, said it had provided the notes to help people choose what to watch
Theater manager Jamie Rycroft told MailOnline: “We are issuing content alerts for productions at our venues, which are optional for audience members to view on our website or request from the Box Office.
“These provide a general indication of the show’s content to help viewers decide whether to watch the show, similar to the comments about a movie’s content given alongside the age rating.”
Tru agrees the show should have a caveat, arguing that pantomimes can be harmful to audiences, but often adults dismiss the comedy shows as a “family-friendly” form of entertainment.
“Actually, there are some subconscious messages in these pantomimes that can be harmful and are treated as normal, we need to put people’s mental health first,” he said.
Several viewers agreed with Linda, one of whom wrote, “Traditional pantos need no warning,” while another said, “I still can’t believe this is even a ‘thing’
“There’s nothing wrong with predicting any kind of content that could have harmful effects on mental health with a trigger warning”
Linda continues: ‘The average theater panto needs no warning, there is nothing that can harm children. In the 30 years I’ve been in panto, I don’t think I’ve ever had a complaint about the content.’
Several viewers agreed with Linda, one of whom wrote, “Traditional pantos need no warning. My children loved the terror of an evil queen, they laughed at two men in dresses, it is up to parents to talk to their children, especially younger children.’
“I still can’t believe this is even a ‘thing’,” said another.
A third wrote: ‘Strongly agree! Don’t go to a panto to possibly be offended, just stay away!!’