In the city of Carrollton, Georgia, home of West Georgia University, the director of the Carrollton production of "The Rocky Horror Show" has been scrambling to scare up funding after Mayor J. Wayne Garner ruled that the production was risque and thus unsuitable for the city's Cultural Arts Center. Garner overruled the community leaders who comprise the theater's board, who had committed $2,500 of city funds to the production. 

Most people know The Rocky Horror Picture Show as the long-running midnight cult movie where fans dress up as the characters and shout the lines along with the actors. But two years before the 1975 film adaptation, it was actually a rock musical, "The Rocky Horror Show," written by Richard O'Brien and performed in London.

Mayor Garner, who's conveniently up for re-election, put a stop to the performance after someone showed him a video of one of the rehearsals. He said, "I found [the video he saw of the rehearsal] very offensive, not in keeping with the community of Carrollton, if you will. I know this community well. If that play was allowed to proceed... we'd be run out of town."

The play's director, Michelle Rougier, wondered:

"It was too risque for them, but it's 'The Rocky Horror Show.' You would imagine they knew, since they were the ones who signed all the contracts and got everything together and did all the advertising, that they knew what 'Rocky Horror' was all about. [The play] is a farce. It's making fun of all the 1950s science-fiction shows. It should not be taken seriously."

It's also interesting to note that, on the city's own website, D. Tim Clark writes that Mayor Garner and other local pols often get together on Fridays for lunch at a BBQ joint. And according to Clark:

"And just this past year The Information Age received multiple calls from multiple sources regarding the four political cronies' behavior at lunch. They were laughing, cutting up, cussing, and telling the nastiest jokes, doing so with total disregard of everyone else in the restaurant (patrons included women and young children). They were asked by the waitress to please 'tone it down,' but their X-rated discussions continued."

Commentarium (28 Comments)

Sep 20 11 - 2:50pm
Phil Hoganbeck

I believe this is called "prior restraint" and runs afoul of the First Amendment. I fought a case like this in 1980 against a southern town and won easily without going to court. Want to make a Federal Case of this? Because it is. The Mayor can park it and lock it.

Sep 21 11 - 1:03pm

Phil. If the government funded all shows all the time and always provided a venue, I would agree. But, they just decided to not support it. The producers and cast can perform the show elsewhere on their own dime. Prior restraint is what the Federal Election Commission did to Citizens United. I fail to understand why people think censorship = not giving me money to perform my art.

Sep 20 11 - 2:55pm

I'll bet the word "faggot" kept coming up in the Mayor's foulmouthed BBQ kiddie show.

Sep 20 11 - 3:04pm

"Madness, takes its toll."

Sep 20 11 - 3:26pm

Dammit, Janet!

Sep 20 11 - 4:04pm


Sep 20 11 - 6:39pm
Carlos Cabrera

I'm sure this isn't the reason why, but maybe this guy just hates Rocky Horror's really obnoxious fans... I mean, whose actually shocked or taken aback by Rocky Horror anymore? I used to love it: I went to the midnight screenings, I saw the broadway show... Then I graduated from high school. After that, anyone who was still WAY into it annoyed the shit out of me. It's kitschy and fun, but you shouldn't be dressing up as frank n' furter or rocky past the age of 21.

Sep 20 11 - 8:51pm

Seems like they won't be doing the time warp any time soon... bad for them.
I agree with some of the comments that say that RHPS is crap, but it's so fun!! I can't help but love it and wish I could go to a screening some day...

Sep 20 11 - 10:46pm

I really do wonder what the city was expecting. A musical with a 'sweet transvestite' is only going to be so appropriate.

Sep 21 11 - 12:38am

i was feeling done in, couldn't win.

Sep 21 11 - 10:00am

I really hate that I live here.

Sep 21 11 - 12:55pm

I may not agree with the message by the musical however to stop a musical just because I don't agree with it's message interferes with others right to free speech. Next thing to go, my right to pray in a school because someone doesn't like me bowing my head, oh wait.. Never mind, can't do that either.. Let it go, if the musical doesn't conflict with my life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness then it falls under their right of free speech...

Sep 21 11 - 1:05pm

freeSpeech is your right to say what you want in public. Not the public's obligation to nail up some staves and boards, and buy you some paint.

Sep 21 11 - 2:05pm

Free speech is your right to say what you want, write what you want, and nothing has to do whether or not it's in public or not.. a Right is something that doesn't interfere with anyone's Liberties.. a Right to speak or write what I want, a Right to act any way I want, so long as what i say/write/act doesn't interfere with another person's Right to Life.. I don't see how having the musical run will obligate "the public" to advertise it? "the public" can just as well decline any financial or labor to be done for the musical to take place.

Sep 21 11 - 2:32pm

I think that's what's happening here... Although I love RHPS myself, the mayor is deciding that public funds shouldn't go towards funding what he thinks his constituents would deem inappropriate... In essence, that's his way of ensuring that "the public" declines any financial or labor be done for the musical to take place... Now, if they happen to raise the funding for the performance from an external source, and are still denied the right to perform it, that would be infringing upon their first amendment rights, so long as their particular rendition of it doesn't violate public decency laws, which, given that the characters are all dressed in some form, shouldn't be the case...

Sep 21 11 - 1:02pm

"Mayor J. Wayne Garner ruled that the production was risque" but ruled that if it had sheep in it he would be ok with it.

Sep 22 11 - 6:04am
It's Just A Jump....

Mayor J. Wayne Garner looks exceedingly old, guess he doesn't know how to do the time warp.