Friday, January 22, 2016

Globetrotters will not do 'water bucket skit' in Flint next week

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Here's something you won't see in Flint next week.
  • Here's something you won't see in Flint next week.

As the series of revelations regarding Flint's water crisis shows, it's a weird, topsy-turvy world. It's a world in which a buttoned-down fiscal conservative, Gov. Rick Snyder, is responsible for policies that led to something very serious. And it's a world in which those irrepressible jesters, the Harlem Globetrotters, are trying to be serious and responsible about their comedy antics. 

If it all sounds weird, yes it is. We never imagined we'd utter "Rick Snyder" and "Harlem Globetrotters" in the same sentence, but we just received word from a spokesperson for the Globetrotters telling us that, "out of respect for Flint residents affected by the recent water crisis, the Globetrotters will remove their famous water bucket skit from the show." 

So if seeing this particular comedy routine was on your "bucket list," you might want to think long and hard whether you'll see them when they appear at 7 p.m. Jan. 25, at Dort Federal Event Center.

What is this "bucket skit" anyway? We won't spoil the gag for you, but one part of it features a bucket of water that gets tossed on a referee, while audience members get splashed a bit. Undue splashing used to be the only controversy associated with this bit of comedy, but given the situation in Flint, water is suddenly freighted with all sorts of inflammatory meaning. Put it another way, the last thing they wanted audience members to think was, "Oh no, that isn't Flint water, is it?"

A spokesperson for the Harlem Globetrotters told us, "When there’s a local crisis like this, and we have games coming in at the same time, we want to be sensitive to that community in any way." That's what played into the team's unusual decision to tweak their Flint performance. And it's also why the team has ensured that hundreds of free tickets have been made available to Flint residents.

Well, when you put it that way, it's hard to object to skipping the skit, or to letting people know that it's done on purpose. 

After all, symbolism matters. And if a bunch of basketball show-stoppers know this, you'd think other people in higher positions should be aware of it as well.

click to enlarge snyder_1.png
click to enlarge From Gov. Snyder's State of the State speech Tuesday: The pitcher that was worth a thousand words.
  • From Gov. Snyder's State of the State speech Tuesday: The pitcher that was worth a thousand words.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 21, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation