SMC Students Petition to Remove Statue After Donkey Criticises Orientation Cheers

Photo Credit: Samantha Hamilton, Photo Editor

SMC! Can I get a #PrimroseIsCancelled on C?

Lois Lee, Associate Features Editor

Students at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto are pushing for the removal of Primrose’s statue because of her controversial views on the Hoikety Choik. 

The statue was originally unveiled in 2019. It was commissioned by the City of Toronto to honour Primrose’s legacy in the entertainment industry. Some of her top achievements include: becoming the fifth understudy for the role of Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, getting fired from the cast of Winnie the Pooh for bullying Tigger into becoming a vegan, and not being casted in the critically-acclaimed Shrek franchise. 

The demand to remove the Primrose statue at Clover Hill Park arises after a video recording of Primrose in 2015 at the Bind Equine Veterinary Practice in Shropshire, England resurfaces online. 

“I have no idea what that is. Is it a disease?” Primrose says in the video after a visiting U of T student asks about her opinions on the Hoikety Choik. 

Robin Goodfellow, a 2020 St. Mike’s graduate, started a petition on to remove the statue on March 25. The petition currently has 6 signatures. 

“It’s really upsetting,” Goodfellow says. “The Hoikety Choik is a beloved, nonsensical cheer and long-standing tradition in St. Mike’s orientation. The fact that Primrose would say such hurtful things about a redundant activity we do every single year has significant ramifications on our community.” 

Ote, a 26 year-old donkey from the PrimRose Donkey Sanctuary in Roseneath, Ontario, also speaks out on the controversy. 

“The donkey community condemns the actions of Primrose. She does not represent the values of the Equidae family. We stand with students of St. Michael’s College and will continue to show our support during this difficult time.”

With support from Ote and the donkey community, Goodfellow and their 6 allies are continuing to fight for the rights of their university cheers. “The only disease here is Primrose’s ignorance,” says Goodfellow. 

Other students, however, believe that the protests are unnecessary. 

“It was so long ago. History is something that should be left in the past and I think people need to learn to move on,” says Primrose Everdeen, a current second-year student at St. Mikes. “As someone also named Primrose, I’m really uncomfortable with the current rhetoric around a public figure, regardless of how ‘problematic’ she is. All donkeys should be treated equally.”  

In support of Primrose and her views on summer camp rhymes, Everdeen has vandalized the statue’s casts with messages such as “Get well soon!” and “We’re always here for you <3.” 

St. Mike’s faculty have provided no comment at this time because they have better things to do than worry about a 12 foot tall donkey.