IT'S CURTAINS

GA Mayor Takes Bold Stand Against Sweet Transvestites, Time Warps

Wayne Garner the mayor of Carrollton, Georgia shut down a community theater’s production of The Rocky Horror Show at the city-owned Carrollton Cultural Arts Center after viewing a video clip from the show’s rehearsal. Garner said, “I found it very offensive, not in keeping with the community of Carrolton, if you will.”

Wait? You mean that bisexual transvestites, Frankenstein-style sex slaves, and cannibalism aren’t community values? It makes you wonder if the CCAC has ever done a production of Titus Andronicus.

The show has decided to stage its October 27th production at a privately-owned stage elsewhere in the city, something Garner says he has no problem with. In the meanwhile, they have a Facebook page with over 2,000 “likes” for people to express their disapproval of the mayor’s actions.

Garner said, “I know this community well and if that play was allowed to proceed [at the CCAC], we’d be run out of town.” So perhaps it’s not the show that Garner finds risqué so much as the prospect of being lynched by his own townspeople.

But Rocky Horror actor and tax payer Jarrett Jones makes the best point about the real losers in this dispute, the Carrollton citizens deprived of challenging theater. “[Theater] should be something that makes you think, that puts a fire underneath you, that makes you enraged or absolutely delighted.”

Damn right.

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21 Comments

  • Steve

    Wayne Garner the mayor of Carrollton, Georgia, has apparently never heard about the First Amendment. He clearly states that he cancelled the show because of the content of the show, and not for any other reason. That is a clear violation of the First Amendment rights of the people who were producing and acting in the play.

    If the quote is accurate, the City probably should just sign over the deed to that property to the theater group. Any defense of the civil-rights lawsuit would be futile, and would very likely cost the city more than the price of the theater.

  • christopher di spirito

    Unless Mayor Wayne Garner owns the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center, he has no legal authority to close down this, or any other production.

  • bobbyjoe

    Wayne Garner the mayor of Carrollton, Georgia: “It’s beyond me… help me, Mommy!”

  • Michael

    Omg these prudes just need to grow up already .I think of it this way if these people are this uncomfortable and antsy about every tiny little thing it makes me wonder if they raised their kids in the same kind of self preservation bubble they were raised in by THEIR parents.

  • JR

    Garner said, “I found it very offensive, not in keeping with the community of Carrolton, if you will.”

    Well Mr. Mayor, I’m sure you don’t speak for the whole town !!! If you find something offensive, then don’t watch it, simple as that !!

  • the crustybastard

    Mayor McCheese here — in his fumbling way — is claiming Rocky Horror is obscene under the “Miller test,” meaning the work is not protected by the First Amendment because:

    a. the average person, applying “contemporary community standards,” would find that the work as a whole appeals to the prurient interest, AND
    b. the work portrays, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law, AND
    c. the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

    Of course, it’s impossible to know with certainty whether something is obscene under this test, as it’s entirely subjective despite purporting to be otherwise. It’s the embodiment of Justice Potter Stewart’s famous “I know it when I see it” definition of pornography.

    This “test” is so ridiculously absurd that in 1971, Georgia prosecuted a theater owner for showing “Carnal Knowledge” starring Jack Nicholson and Candice Bergen. Georgia’s Supreme Court actually affirmed the defendant’s conviction for distribution of obscene material. SCOTUS — on the basis of watching the movie — reversed Georgia.

    True story.

  • Max E Padd

    I only have two words—————-The South.

  • Mark

    censorship alive and well – so grown adults can’t make up their own mind what to see and not see? mommy state

  • Hyhybt

    There is a lot of good in Carrollton, but he’s probably right that he’d be run out of town if he didn’t stop this. That doesn’t make stopping it the right thing to do, of course… but that anyone is trying to stage that play in that town in the first place is quite surprise.

    Actually, a bigger surprise would have been their selling enough tickets to justify the venue.

  • Thomas Maguire

    Lawsuit in 3…2…1….

  • Abel

    Aw, fuck these idiots. This asshole mayor probably never HEARD of the ROCKY HORROR SHOW or THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. They should run him out of town for doing this. Who needs the mommy state?

  • Steve

    Thank you, crustybastard.

    The Miller test clearly does not allow the government to prohibit production of Rocky Horror Show in the public theater. That test has three prongs. To prohibit a display, the state must show that the work fails all three prongs. The first is community standards. The second is that the work depicts sexual conduct specifically defined by state law. The third is that the work lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

    The script does not call for any nudity or sexual conduct. (Classic nude statues specifically don’t count.) And, the play clearly does have serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. Either of those by itself is enough to pass the Miller test, without regard to any issue of community standards.

    Further, the “public forum” doctrine applies. The theater is a specifically designated “public forum”, available to be rented for theatrical productions. The city has a posted price list for the rent, making it explicitly a “public forum”. The community theater organization paid to rent the space, and has produced previous shows in that space.

    Some of the reference material from the Free Expression Policy Project, might be helpful:
    http://www.fepproject.org/

  • :)

    He expects me to believe that there is a significant overlap of people who find Rocky Horror objectionable and people who attend community theater. I’m not buying it.

  • the crustybastard

    @Steve:

    Good point about the public forum doctrine. And it should be noted that archconservative Justice Rehnquist opined during the Carnal Knowledge case that Miller intended to limit obscenity claims to hardcore porno flicks.

    The troupe should find a friendly attorney to draft a Q&D mandamus. Shoving that up Mayor McCheese’s ass would be far more entertaining than any play.

  • Daveo

    This:

    “The show has decided to stage its October 27th production at a privately-owned stage elsewhere in the city, something Garner says he has no problem with.”

    Completely contradicts this:

    “the Carrollton citizens deprived of challenging ”

    Bless the free market.

  • Daveo

    This:

    “The show has decided to stage its October 27th production at a privately-owned stage elsewhere in the city, something Garner says he has no problem with.”

    Completely contradicts this:

    “the Carrollton citizens deprived of challenging theater ”

    Bless the free market.

  • Little Kiwi

    next up – Banning SHOWBOAT because it deals with ‘miscegenation’

    *barf*

  • Jason Rains

    I’m not involved with the production in any way, but I’m one of the many Carrolltonians working to protest this decision and get this play performed in town. Thanks for bringing more national attention to what’s happening here. A quick response to some of the comments here, I think the article greatly understates of the situation when it says the play “decided to stage its October 27th production at a privately-owned stage elsewhere in the city”. Even though everyone is working very hard and I’m sure we’ll succeed in the end, its not as simple as moving all the props across town and performing in a different spot. Since the play lost both its funding and use of the community theater, we will now need to raise about $5000 and secure a new venue before it can go on. Efforts to do so are already well underway, but there’s really a lot more to it than just saying “Well, I guess we’ll do it somewhere else.”

    I strongly encourage everyone to visit the facebook page linked in this article. There you’ll find statements of support, up-to-the-minute updates on the situation, and links to another page with information on donating to the play fund. Every bit of support, even if it’s just dropping by to say “good luck”, is deeply appreciated.

  • missanthrope

    @Daveo:

    The free market had nothing to do with that, you fool.

  • Nicholas

    I watched rocky horror recentlly

    its awesome :D

  • Mav

    Georgia…making the South look like a third world country since 1732.

Comments are closed.