A male drag performer named “Mama G” has been caught teaching young children how to “twerk” in a library, issuing instructions such as “crouch down” and “move your bum up and down.”
“Several parents have raised concerns over what they describe as an ‘inappropriate’ children’s entertainer who is appearing at a Devon [England] library,” DevonLive reported on Wednesday.
“Mama G is a pantomime dame who tours around the UK,” the British outlet continued. “But the act has attracted controversy here in Devon, with some parents accusing Mama G of being a ‘sexualised, offensive caricature’ who ‘teaches kids to twerk.’”
Twerking, of course, is the craze of bending over in a sexually suggestive way and shaking one’s rear, often on a dance floor. It was popularized by stars like Miley Cyrus, who made it a signature part of her undeniably sex-themed music videos and performances.
And sure enough, video of the children’s library event shows Mama G asking the young kids if they know “any of the dances in Fortnite” — a video game rated “Teen” due to violence by the non-partisan ESRB — before twerking for them.
“Does anybody in this room know how to twerk?” the drag queen asked. “You just move your bum up and down like that. And that’s twerking.”
“On what planet do you think this sexualized womanface act is appropriate for young children?” wondered another Twitter user. “Are you bringing the Black and White Minstrels in next week?” they added, referring to blackface performances widely regarded as deeply insulting.
Libraries Unlimited, which hosted the drag event, responded to the criticism with fairly generic buzzwords about “equality and diversity.”
“As a charity, we are committed to ensuring our libraries are welcoming, safe and inclusive places for all,” a library spokesperson said. “We celebrate the arts, equality and diversity and are proud that our libraries offer a space for communities to come together and enjoy the power of words, reading and storytelling.”