Tone Deaf County leaders’ Prison Break Event
Cobb County government leadership is marred in controversy yet again and seems incapable of getting out of its own way when it comes to controversy. Cobb County government advertised an escape room event in which participants were invited to imagine themselves as wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison – with no parole. In a since-deleted social media post from last week, Cobb County announced its latest iteration of an escape room, that would be dubbed “Prison Break.” The cost of participation was listed as $90.
Some say that Chair Lisa Cupid and her team have lost their minds, while others say Cupid is tone deaf to think that this derision of people in prison is entertainment. After a public outcry, it appears that Cupid and her team course corrected their blunder by removing this from their growing portfolio of ‘dumb moves’. Other media outlets reported that the web page with the details of the planned game room experience now reads, “Sorry, that event has expired.”
Social media was also working overtime on this topic as people sounded off on Cobb County’s insensitivity. They condemned the theme and Cobb leaders as being indifferent to those facing wrongful conviction. One political watcher suggested that Cobb create an escape room for citizens to leave the County following Cobb’s election of people who have no idea what they are doing.
On Twitter, the Rev. James Woodall, former president of the Georgia NAACP said, “People are literally living this nightmare of dehumanizing conditions while experiencing violence while incarcerated and @cobbcountygovt has made it into entertainment.”
State Rep. Josh McLaurin of Sandy Springs also was angered, writing, “Shame on Cobb County. Our prisons are in crisis. It isn’t a game.” In another post he said, “I heard yesterday that a man died at Wilcox State Prison because the facility is so understaffed that he didn’t get his insulin in time. Wondering if @cobbcountygovt is planning to use that detail in its new prison-themed game?”
Larry Savage, a former Cobb Board of Commissioners chair candidate, wrote to the MDJ, “Cobb County, where bad taste knows no bounds.” On Twitter, Matt Stigal of Cobb 4 Transit wrote “Insanity. People came up with this idea, developed it, and then it got written up and approved to be published.” Another person on Twitter wrote, “This county is SICK. This game is offensive. Welcome to Cobb County where prison is a game!”
Someone in Cobb County government must be tasked with reading the social media posts because the county quickly deleted both the Facebook post and the calendar event from their website after the deluge of negative comments. Instead of abandoning the event that has left a bad taste in everyone’s mount except theirs, Cobb leaders have rebranded their event as a “Race to Escape.” All references to a prison escape have been removed, but the stench still lingers.
Continuing in their tone deaf posture, a comment was released by Cobb County that said, “While it is regrettable some were offended by the description of this event that included quotes from popular movies, staff designed this game to be just that — a game.” The million dollar question is why was Cobb not offended by this?
They still don’t get it.