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Aussie Schools Cancel Grease Production After Students Complained It's Offensive

Stewart Perrie

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| Last updated 

Aussie Schools Cancel Grease Production After Students Complained It's Offensive

Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Two Australian schools have decided to cancel their co-productions of Grease after students complained about the iconic musical's themes.

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

The school had collaborated with students from the all boys' Scotch College, however the show has now been removed from the schedule.

The principals of both schools, PLC's Cate Begbie and Scotch's acting head Peter Burt, have released a joint statement confirming the musical has been shelved.

Credit: Paramount Pictures
Credit: Paramount Pictures

"A number of PLC students raised concerns whether the musical was appropriate in modern times," the statement 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."

Some of the parents aren't happy the schools have bowed to the pressure of a 'small minority' of students and they didn't get a chance to give their two cents on the issue.

These mums and dads also said the content of the show could have been updated and the story could be brought into the 21st century.

Credit: Paramount Pictures
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Grease was released in 1978 and starred Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. It tells the story of how Danny (Travolta) and Sandy (Newton-John) fell in love in 1958 and returned to Rydell High School to navigate their new romance.

Danny is the pinup bad boy who eventually encourages Sandy to shed her good girl look to keep his interest.

But this isn't the first time the legendary musical has been faced with accusations of being outdated.

When the movie was shown on TV for Boxing Day last year, many viewers took to Twitter to claim the movie is 'rapey', misogynistic, homophobic and lacking diversity.

One scene viewers took issue with was during the 'Summer Nights' song, which included the line 'Did she put up a fight?' when Danny was talking about trying to seduce Sandy.

Credit: Paramount Pictures
Credit: Paramount Pictures

People also highlighted that Rizzo was 'slut-shamed' and even had a song about her having unprotected sex and hooking up with different men.

Danny's friend Putzie hid under the floor in another scene so that he could look up the skirts of female students.

A different scene that depicted a dance contest was labelled homophobic because radio announcer Vince Fontaine said there couldn't be any same-sex couples dancing together.

Olivia Newton-John was asked about this anger earlier this year and she was surprised at the modern backlash.

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

"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."

Topics: schools, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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