Mums say Mickey Scouse graffiti mural is offensive and sinister

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A worried mum who lives in the Wirral went online recently to complain about a graffiti mural which was commissioned in her town.

The anonymous parent posted on Mumsnet after spotting the street art – which was done by artist Tom Blackford on behalf of Rockpoint Leisure – when out with her small children.

She uploaded a snap of the “sinister” mural which shows a Mickey Scouse cartoon’s mugshot emblazoned on a wanted poster.

Mickey Scouse was smoking a cigarette, looked green in colour and sported a black eye.

The “disgusted” mum wrote: “Live in a seaside town. The Rock point quarter is a new development regenerating my local high street.

“I live here with children as do many others. Why do they need to see this and what's the message?

“I think it's disgusting, my daughter asked why his toothbrush was that colour.

“Little primary children don't need to see this coming out of their street every day. I'm just disgusted.”

Hundreds of other parents commented on the thread – some who were horrified, but others who said it was “art”.

A mum noted: “It doesn't even make sense? It's horrible – certainly not nice for kids.”

“They should have not used a children's character for this, whatever it is,” added another.

While a third said: “That's quite sinister. If I had to walk past that with my 4 yo I would try to find an alternative route!”

Another mum commented: “I don't think I'd be offended but is nasty and really tacky.

“I’m surprised a kids cartoon character with a cigarette is OK with anyone official rather than it just being graffiti.

“I’m normally very much not one of the morally outraged. But yeah this is a bit dodge [sic].”

Others said that they found the piece “ugly but not offensive” and yet more said they liked the street art.

“It’s just art,” commented a fan.

While another said: “Your kids are going to see a lot of different things in the future so let them get used to seeing something and deciding for themselves if they like it or not!”

“It’s quite well done to be honest,” another wrote.

And another noted: “The most offensive part about this is that his nickname is Mickey Scouse when he lives on the Wirral.”

Tom Blackford is a well respected graffiti artist who often paints colourful murals around the UK.

Over on Tom's Facebook page, a fan said: “I personally love them, not everyone can appreciate the talent it takes to do something like this especially on this scale.

“Well done Tom Blackford Artist, art comes in many forms & this is a cheeky representation of a traditional image."

While another noted: “I think it's amazing what you and the Rockpoint guys are doing for the area. That street is predominantly adult based with pubs and restaurants, not a children's environment anyway.”

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Speaking to the Daily Star, Tom said: "The character I painted is 'Mickey Scouse',- a satirical version of another famous rodent.

"The painting is a tactic to draw attention to the regeneration of the area, choosing a theme that pays homage to an earlier painting of mine that was produced to highlight the neglect of another local building at the hands of Wetherspoons.

"A second painting of mine around the corner centred around the positive message of 'hope' although as it's not being talked about as much, I don't see it as successful."

Rockpoint Leisure added: "There is a happy Mickey about 10ft away around the corner in a superhero outfit and the whole piece has to be taken in context.

"The original images (painted on the side of a building earmarked for demolition by the owners) of Mickey successfully stopped that from happening; this was a tongue-in-cheek nod to that successful intervention.

"The building that the current images are on is not yet complete and will evolve of the coming weeks.

"We have had hundreds of people, all happy, talking selfies in front of it."

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