SEDALIA, Mo. — The Missouri State Fair Commission unanimously decided on Monday to permanently ban the rodeo clown who wore a mask resembling Barack Obama over the weekend during a show at the fair.
The move came after Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe reported to the commission on the ‘unacceptable behavior’ during the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Associations Final Rodeo.
The commission also determined that before the Missouri State Fair considers contracting with the association, they must provide evidence to the fair director that the participants have had sensitivity training.
The stunt lead to some severe backlash on social media, many commenters on the MSF’s Facebook page were outraged and said it reflected poorly on Missouri as a state.
Earlier, the fair released a statement about the incident that read in part:
“The performance by one of the rodeo clowns at Saturday’s event was inappropriate and disrespectful, and does not reflect the opinion or standards of the Missouri State Fair.”
Saturday night, rodeo announcer Mark Ficken, president of the Missouri Cowboy Rodeo Association and a school superintendent, announced a special guest: “President Obama.”
Working up the crowd, Ficken said, “We’re going to stomp Obama now.”
“As soon as this bull comes out, Obama, don’t you move,” he said. “He’s going to getcha, getcha getcha, getcha.”
A clown on the arena floor chimed in: “Hey, I know I’m a clown. He’s just running around acting like one. Doesn’t know he is one.”
The stunt sickened Perry Beam, who came to the fair in Sedalia with his wife and a student from Taiwan to “give him a little piece of Americana.”
Beam likened the atmosphere to a Klan rally
“It wasn’t clean; it wasn’t fun. It was awful; it was sickening,” Beam said, “It was racist.”
Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill also released a statement that called the act ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’. She also mentioned that the fair is supported by taxpayer dollars and that young Missourians witnessed the wrong lesson about political discourse.
Republican Lieutenant Governor took to his personal Twitter account to condemn the stunt.
The @MoStateFair celebrates Missouri and our people. I condemn the actions disrespectful to POTUS the other night. We are better than this.
— Peter Kinder (@PeterKinder) August 11, 2013
On Sunday evening, Missouri House Minority Leader Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis) and Assistant House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) released a statement and said they will ask House Speaker Tim Jones to appoint an interim committee to investigate the incident. They said the incident crossed the line and want to consider whether or not taxpayer funding is appropriate for the event.
CNN’s Dave Alsup contributed to this report