Chamber president apologizes for awards night skit

The president of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber has apologized for a skit presented during an awards night ceremony this week.

David Black said in a statement Friday that the satirical skit about the city's debt problems was not meant to offend anyone.

“Upon further reflection, I am issuing an apology if the skit at the December 5th, 2012 Chamber & CREDC Awards Night has offended anyone. That was clearly not the intent,” Black said in the statement.

“The event is designed to honor some great people in our region, who have done some extraordinary things and deserve recognition as well as have a few laughs. For those who are upset, I apologize. We believe in our City and its future,” he said.

Black also spoke to abc27 News on Friday and said the controversy is painful to him because he intended no harm or insult.

“We look at these things, we learn from our mistakes and hopefully people will be willing to forgive us for our mistakes,” he said. “We're gonna learn from it. We still want to have fun, but just do it a little different way in the future.”

The skit featured actors playing the parts of Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson and her spokesman, Bob Philbin, followed by a parody of the song “We are the World.” A video of the skit was briefly posted on YouTube.

Harrisburg City councilwoman Sandra Reid has criticized the video and has called for Black to resign.

“When you're a regional chamber of commerce, one of the first things you should be trying to do is helping us build up our image. Don't tear us down,” Reid said Thursday. “You represent what the Harrisburg region is about and if the best that you have to offer is to mock the core city, you need to step down.”

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