Big Bird “punched” a student pretending to be Mitt Romney in the face during a Texas football game on Saturday. Beaumont Central High School’s marching band hosted a political dance-off instead of their traditional half-time show. After the band director asked the crowd if they were going to vote on Tuesday, masked students pretending to be President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney performed for the crowd.
After a rather athletic student portraying Barack Obama dances and then does a back flip, Big Bird appears on the field and touches the Mitt Romney character on the shoulder. The announcer had this to say once the Sesame Street character stole the spotlight:
“Wait a minute, I got somebody for you, Mr. Romney! Mr. Big Bird is in the house. Big Bird!”
The student wearing the Romney masks leaves the center of the field while Big Bird dances a little jig. Once the student reappears, the person in the yellow-feathered costume “decks” the faux politician in the jaw, according to Texas Sports Center.
One Beaumont Central High School spectator called the show a tasteless inappropriate use of high school students. Another football game attendee referred to the Obama and Romney dance-off as beyond the bounds of decent taste.
School Board member Mike Neil had this to say about the half-time show during an interview with KIII-TV:
“It was cute when you had Romney dancing and you had Obama dancing, to me there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a presentation of who’s running for president, but at the end when one of them gets knocked out, it just to me goes a little bit overboard. The halftime shows don’t need to be controversial, they need to be fun, they need to be light, we’re there to watch a football game, and to watch a halftime show, and to bring any kind of political advocacy into it is just out of place.”
School officials are currently in the process of conducting a review of the political satire which occurred during the football game.