After wrapping up its two-week run of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" Sunday night, MCT Community Theatre MCT executive director Michael McGill Monday morning was in full damage control mode in the wake of the internet firestorm in reaction to the MCT production's call for the beheading of Sarah Palin:
What began with a single letter to the editor, published in last Friday's Missoulian, quickly erupted into a nationwide controversy after dozens of political bloggers picked up the thread and ran with it - some adding their own colorful (and inaccurate) amendments to the story.Okay, so where exactly is the apology to Gov. Palin in all of this? Anyway, just goes to show that writing letters to the editor isn't always a waste of time.
In the face of it all, McGill had one simple message on Monday.
"In retrospect, we made a mistake," he said. "Anybody that gets singled out in such a way as that, whether it might be (President Barack) Obama or Palin or whomever, it's inappropriate. I take full responsibility for that."
At the center of the controversy was a single couplet, inserted by director Curt Olds into a song sung by the character Ko-Ko, a pacifist executioner. Listing off those people whom he intends to behead, the singer in the Missoula production noted, "That crazy Sarah Palin needs a psychoanalyst / She never would be missed, no she never would be missed."
"It's very common practice to amend those lyrics," said McGill. "It's how they were amended in this case that's an issue. There's a lot of misinformation about what happened, but I don't want to shirk our responsibility for what did happen.
"The important part to me is that the apology is clear and that the responsibility is taken by this organization."