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It's fair to say their intended message didn't quite get across, and they just ended up causing something of a stir.
According to The Sun, one parent said: "This is unbelievable. Have we completely lost our moral compass as a society?"
Another added: "Someone needs to lose their job over this."
Following complaints from attendees, the performance was stopped and the libraries group has since apologised.
Redbridge Council, as well as the libraries group, have said local charity Vision RCL - who organised the event - is responsible for the outrage caused by the performance.
A spokesperson for Redbridge Council said: "We are utterly appalled by the unacceptable event at Redbridge Libraries on Saturday organised by our independent leisure contractor, Vision.
"The contractor had commissioned characters to support the start of the Summer Reading Challenge, but the costume in question was wholly inappropriate for the intended audience.
"Council Leader, Cllr Jas Athwal, took immediate action as soon as he became aware of what had happened, instructing Vision to end the event.
"A full and thorough investigation into how this incident happened has been launched and stringent action will be taken.
"We sincerely apologise for the offence and distress this has caused."
Redbridge Libraries added: "During an event put on at the library today there was a performance by a Carnival Arts Company.
"Unfortunately one of the animal costumes was inappropriate which we were not aware of at the time of booking.
"We deeply apologise for the offence caused.
"This is being investigated and a further statement will be made. This event was arranged by Vision and not Redbridge Council.
"Upon receiving complaints passed on by the Leader and Deputy Leader, we ceased the performance and are truly apologetic for the distress caused to residents.
"This will never happen again."
For their part, Mandinga Arts have also apologised for the 'inappropriate' outfit worn by one of their performers.
The group is described on its website as having 'a distinctive style bringing together live music, carnival, street costume, puppetry and dance, drawing on diverse influences from Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa'.
It tweeted: "We apologise for the offence caused while raising awareness of the reading campaign by Redbridge Libraries on 10 July.
"We never intended to offend residents.
"We respect everyone's individual opinion with no offence to any part.
"Actions are being taken, more information to follow."
LADbible has contacted Vision RCL for a comment.
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