Schools cancel Grease production after students say it's too offensive 2 months ago

Schools cancel Grease production after students say it's too offensive

Students raised concerns about whether the musical was "appropriate in modern times"

Two schools in Australia have decided to cancel their productions of Grease after students complained about the musical being sexist.

Students at Presbyterian Ladies' College (PLC) in Perth said the musical contained "'offensive, sexist and anti-feminist" tropes and it isn't fit to be shown in modern-day Australia.

As a result, the planned co-production between  PLC and Scotch College has been cancelled.

"A number of PLC students raised concerns whether the musical was appropriate in modern times," PLC principal Cate Begbie and acting Scotch College headmaster Peter Burt said.

"Scotch College listened respectfully to the girls' concerns and both schools agreed a different musical would be better suited for their joint production in 2022."

But some parents of students have voiced their upset at the decision, saying that not all students were given the opportunity to weigh in on the debate and that it was a "small minority" who had found the show offensive.

Perth Now reports that the parents said cancelling the show was a mistake and suggested the content could have been rewritten to suit modern audiences, with several Perth schools having put on the musical in recent years with no concerns reported.

The classic musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John was released 1978 and follows the story of two 1950s teens, Danny and Sandy, who are reunited as high school seniors after a summer fling and attempting to rekindle their romance despite being from vastly different groups at school.

With Danny as the stereotypical biker bad boy, Sandy ends up changing her prim and proper appearance to look like Danny, whilst he changes his appearance to become a classic high school jock.

But many insist this in itself is problematic as it is Sandy who is the one that has to change her appearance much more.

Some of the lyrics in the songs have been questioned as well, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

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In particular the lyric 'Did she put up a fight?’ from the song Summer Nights has come under scrutiny, with some claiming it could be a reference to sexual abuse or rape.

Another part of the film sees Danny's friend Putzie hide under the floor so that he can look up the skirts of female students.

Newton-John herself has previously addressed the modern day backlash to the film.

Earlier this year she told the Life of Greatness podcast: "I think it's kind of silly. I mean, this movie was made in the 1970s about the 1950s.

"It was a stage play, it's a musical, it's fun. It's a fun movie musical, not to be taken so seriously.

"We need to relax a little bit and just enjoy things for what they are. I didn't see it like that at all, I think it's a fun movie that entertains people."