Saskatchewan premier calls comments by tribute concert comedians offensive
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe waves to the audience during the Country Thunder Humboldt Broncos tribute concert in Saskatoon, Sask. Friday, April 27, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, April 30, 2018 9:34PM EDT
REGINA -- Saskatchewan's premier says comments made by comedians at a tribute concert for victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash were offensive.
Bruce Williams and Terry Ree, who call themselves "The Indian and the White Guy," emceed the Saskatoon concert on Friday night.
The pair have been highly criticized for singing a song which included the line "shake it for the Indian with the STDs."
They posted an apology on Facebook on Saturday to anyone who was offended by the skit.
Williams and Ree said that they failed to consider the emotional nature of the event, which was meant as a tribute to remember the 16 people who died in the April 6 crash.
Premier Scott Moe says it's unfortunate that the pair's comments have detracted from the intention of the concert.
"It's unfortunate that these comments would take away from the focus of the concert, the focus of the financial benefit to those involved in what is likely the most tragic incident in this province in my lifetime, for sure," Moe said Monday.
Indigenous people who attended the performance said they were shocked to hear the pair use slurs such as "squaw" and "dirty Indian," along with statements such as "Indians don't work."
Moe, who attended the concert, said he didn't hear the comments.
"I listened to them in the media a day or two later when they came out. Yeah ... they're offensive."
The premier did say the evening overall was still successful.
"I think it is fair to say that the evening was a good evening, an emotional evening, and part of the healing process for all involved."
Performers included Dallas Smith, Jess Moskaluke, the Hunter Brothers, Brett Kissel, Gord Bamford and Chad Brownlee. Most of the performers declined interview requests about the comments.