PLEASANTON, Calif. (KTVU) - Parents left the Alameda County Fair in shock on Saturday night after their children were exposed to a sexually suggestive movie mistakenly playing at the Magical Midway fun house.
“Livid,” Nechelle Lemons told KTVU on Monday, describing how she felt as she witnessed a man and a woman engaged in graphic lovemaking on the screen as her 7-year-old daughter romped about, mostly obliviously, in the background.
The Hayward mother said she wasn't the only parent upset with the inappropriate film. The video she sent to KTVU shows at least seven children walking down the stairs from the attraction as mothers' voices could be heard urging them to leave immediately.
"What are they showing?" one mother asked. "Are you serious?" Parents also urged their children to close their eyes, the video shows.
Turns out, the 1999 R-rated movie, “Pirates: Blood Brothers,” was looping on the monitor at the fun house, according to fair spokeswoman Angel Moore. But it was a mix-up. In fact, the 1952 Burt Lancaster film, "Crimson Pirate," should have been playing instead. She said no one is really sure how the two discs got switched.
"Unknowingly, a suggestive scene from this movie was displayed on one of the monitors in view of fair guests," the fair said Monday in an email. After discovering the inappropriate footage, the statement said, the video feed was "immediately removed." Moore said that KTVU was the first organization to alert fair staff of the issue.
"We deeply apologize," the statement said.
Luckily, Lemons said that most of the kids did not realize what was happening and happily ran down the stairs to another attraction at the fair.
The fair is a family tradition for Lemons, something that was marred for her after seeing this sex scene play out in front of her daughter's eyes.
And fair officials want the annual family-friendly event to remain unmarred for the nearly half a million guests who grace the Pleasanton grounds each summer.
"This video footage is not in alignment with the values of the Alameda County Fair or Butler Amusements and was unacceptable," Moore said. She said that moving forward, all video footage and other content in the carnival midway "will be reviewed for audience appropriateness before being displayed" so that this situation doesn't ever happen again.