A California academy has canceled a benefit concert with Carlos Mencia after school district officials worried the comedian’s show would offend audience members.
Officials decided to nix the concert, originally scheduled for this Sunday at Edison Language Academy in Santa Monica, after the Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) and parents objected to Mencia’s penchant for racial slurs and jokes. A self-described “equal opportunity offender,” the Honduran stand-up comedian has been known to poke fun at ethnic stereotypes, immigrants and disabilities.
So what finally made school officials pull the plug on the show? A section of the California Penal Code that states it shall punish anyone who uses offensive words and provokes a violent reaction on school grounds.
The concert, planned by the Edison PTA, was organized as a fundraiser for the Academy. They knew the comic would raise eyebrows, but they didn’t realize how controversial it’d be until they received a letter from an AMAE rep.
“Mencia has made millions making a predominantly white male comedy audience comfortable with their racism,” wrote Elias Serna, president-elect of the Santa Monica- West Los Angeles chapter. “Mencia needs to read some history and see his responsibility to his Latino audience.”
Edison Language Academy is a magnet school with a dual immersion program. Each student is taught to read, speak and write in both English and Spanish in effort to teach them about unity and other cultures.
What do you think? Should the school be allowed to follow through with their fundraiser? Or is Carlos Mencia too offensive to perform, even if it's to raise money for a good cause?