Ringling Bros CEO on circus shutdown: “Hard to compete with that clusterf — moving into the White House.”
The Eagle Shield has obtained an audio recording of the Ringling Bros CEO’s final staff meeting with executive-level employees. The transcript has been published below.
“Hey, folks. This one’s going to be short. By now, you’ve probably heard that we will be ending the Ringling Bros. circus’ 100-year run this coming spring.
I want to thank you for all that you’ve done to keep this thing going as long as we could, but, it’s just hard to compete with that clusterf*ck moving into the White House, y’know? I mean, those guys are in a league of their own creatively.
Obviously, they’re blessed with once-in-a-generation talent. People love the trapeze, the animals, and the tightrope, but this racket is always going to be about clowns and, boy, do they have a good one. At the end of the day, you’ve just got to tip your cap to one hell of an act.
I’ve been in this business a long time. I thought I’d seen it all. Spray some water on yourself, pies to the face, all those bits. But then he started calling hot chicks fat and the crowd went bonkers. Remember “Build the wall?” That stuff re-defined the genre.
Maybe we could’ve done better with our merch and apparel, because they murdered us in that department. Don’t get me wrong, Traci. The Ringling Bros. “Make Tents Striped Again” baby onesie was an inspired effort, but they were first to market on us and that’s on me. Just flat out didn’t see it coming.
If we just could’ve gotten the elephants to mock the disabled, maybe we would have had a shot, but…no, that’s not fair. Terry, you did a bang-up job with those elephants and I don’t want to put this on you. You hear me? You literally made those things dance and it was spellbinding. Keep your chin up.
If anybody needs a reference, please let Kathleen know.
Also, I’ve got like a f — load of peanuts now so if anybody has some interesting recipes they want to share with me, it would be appreciated.”