U. of Kentucky Student Files Complaint Against ‘Shrek’ Musical for Trans Joke

Shrek the Musical
Andrew H. Walker/Getty

A student after the University of Kentucky filed a “bias incident” report against a producer of an on-campus production of Shrek: The Musical over a transgender joke that was part of the Tony award-winning show’s original script.

According to a report by The College Fix, a production of Shrek: The Musical at the University of Kentucky was on the receiving end of a “bias incident” complaint after a student noticed that there is a transgender joke in the show’s original script.

In one song, a character sings, “they tore my cotton granny dress / and called me a hot ’n’ tranny mess.” Before the complaint was filed, the show’s producers had decided to remove the joke from the script. “If you are upset by the line ‘tranny mess,’ I’m sorry,” the producer allegedly told students during a rehearsal.

The University of Kentucky’s production of Shrek: The Musical was not the first production to remove the politically incorrect line. The song, which was written specifically for the Broadway musical, has been modified by many regional productions of the show around the country.

A public records request revealed that a student had filed a complaint against the producer for his initial hesitation to remove the joke.

“It felt very out of place, inappropriate, and unnecessary to state any of this, let alone actually verbally saying this slur,” the student wrote in the complaint. “It made me very uncomfortable.”

The University of Kentucky website claims that “bias incident(s)” can occur even without intent. The definition provided by the university suggests that the only requirement for a bias incident is whether or not someone was offended.

“A bias incident can occur whether the act was intentional or unintentional, and may or may not be a legal act,” the University of Kentucky website reads. “In identifying a bias incident, the focus is on the impact on an individual or group, not the intention or motivation of the actor.”

Breitbart News reported in October that the University of Michigan will shut down its “bias response” complaint system in response to a First Amendment lawsuit which claimed that the system chills free expression on campus.


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