PHILADELPHIA - The Froggy Carr Club was disqualified after marchers were accused of wearing blackface at the Mummers Parade.
Photos from the New Year's day parade showed members of the club sporting blackface as they strolled through Center City.
The Froggy Carr has been a fixture in the parade for nearly 50 years. The group chose a Flyers mascot theme for the parade called “Frogs Getting Gritty With It." Some participants chose more black than orange for their face paint.
Late Thursday afternoon, Froggy Carr officials told reporters the offending parties applied their blackface paint after being checked by city and club monitors. They said one of the two was an actual club member and both have been banned from future Mummers activities.
"It's a shame. I mean these rules are in place for a reason. We don't condone it at all and when 800 people go out it's hard to police," Froggy Car President Stephen Pakech said at a press conference.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney took to Twitter to condemn the costume on Wednesday afternoon. He deemed the use of blackface "abhorrent and unacceptable."
City spokesperson Lauren Cox released a statement reading in part:
“The use of blackface by someone affiliated with Froggy Carr today was abhorrent and unacceptable. This selfish, hateful behavior has no place in the Mummers, or the city itself. We can and must do better in Philadelphia. Given the choice to use orange, white or black face paint—or any combination of the three—this individual chose to do a full face of black paint. In 2020 there is no excuse for not understanding why that is a problem. It is blackface, plain and simple."
Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke called it "reprehensible behavior in Philadelphia or anywhere in America."
Clarke says city attorneys are investigating what control they have and what further penalties are allowed over what is a private event that requires a city permit.
The NAACP released the following statement reading in part:
"The NAACP committed to the elimination in our society of both racial hatreds and discrimination are disappointed in the organizers of the annual “Mummers” parade to seemingly overlook the smuggling of “Black Face” images in its 2020 parade. The 21st century should be a time where intelligence rules over ignorance, racial tolerance over race insensitivities and mutual respect over hatred."
For the latest local news, sports and weather, download the FOX 29 News app.
DOWNLOAD: FOX 29 NEWS APP