Bakewell Carnival bans blackface after backlash

Carnival float Image copyright JPI Media
Image caption The fancy dress was branded "wrong on all levels"

People taking part in a town's carnival event will no longer be able to paint their faces black, organisers say.

It follows complaints about two white men wearing blackface to dress as Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder on a music-themed float at the Bakewell Carnival in Derbyshire.

One carnival attendee described it as "racist" and "frankly disgusting".

The landlord of the pub behind the float said no malice had been intended and it had raised money for charity.

The display, featuring regulars from The Manners pub in the town, was billed as "Music Thru The Years".

However, its Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder characters were highlighted on social media by Megan Joy - who said it was not the first time she had seen blackface worn at the event.

She said: "When will elderly white men realise it's racist to paint themselves black at carnivals?

"It happens every year at Bakewell and Tideswell Carnival. Frankly it's disgusting."

George Mighty, chairman of Derby West Indian Community Association, said it was "disgraceful" and "wrong on all levels".

Image copyright JPI Media
Image caption The pub's float was named "Music Thru The Years"

Bakewell's carnival committee said members had been unaware of the painted faces until it was brought to their attention four days after Saturday's event.

"The committee do not approve floats or any other entries to the procession - people simply turn up," it said.

"We acknowledge that blackface is long outdated and totally inappropriate.

"We do not approve of it and we certainly would not permit it in the future."

Bryan Moran, landlord at The Manners, said: "The two people just did it to look as much as their rock idols as they could.

"There was absolutely no malice intended at all and a lot of money was raised for charity."

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