OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Controversial art. A street performer in Ocean City is under fire for her risque performances right on the boardwalk. Now the Ocean City pole dancer is speaking out.
Meghan McCorkell has her message to her critics.
The exotic dancer says she’s within her rights and she’s not stopping anytime soon.
A woman dressed in skimpy clothing pole-dancing on the Ocean City boardwalk. Her performances are sparking outrage from parents, tourists and business owners.
“I mean, I knew people were going to be shocked but I didn’t know I was going to be pushed into the spotlight like this,” said Chelsea Plymale, the boardwalk pole-dancer.
Plymale has worked as an exotic dancer for almost a decade. She brought her skills to Ocean City this summer and took the boardwalk by storm.
“I don’t think that they should be allowed to do anything they want on the boardwalk. I definitely don’t want her seeing people pole dancing on the boardwalk,” said Jennifer Dreschsler.
“I think this is a public place. It’s a family place and I don’t think it’s appropriate for anyone to come out and bare themselves,” said Elijah Etheridge.
Ocean City police have received dozens of complaint calls—but they can’t do anything about it.
Two years ago, the ACLU sued Ocean City over street performers’ first amendment rights—and won.
“Basically, the street performers can go up there as long as they aren’t breaking any other laws and they’re performing and exercising their first amendment rights. They have every right to be up on the boardwalk,” said Mayor Rick Meehan.
Plymale says if people don’t want to see her dancing, then don’t watch.
“They can keep watching. They don’t have to let their children watch me perform,” she said. “I’m completely tasteful. I don’t really dance around too much. I just do pole tricks.”
Meanwhile, Ocean City leaders are seeking legal counsel.
“The constitution of the United States isn’t going to change but we have to do whatever we can do to make sure that the public out on the boardwalk is getting the Ocean City experience they’re looking for,” Meehan said.
He says the best way to discourage this behavior is to ignore it. A street performer probably won’t stick around if they aren’t getting any tips.
Ocean City has taken other steps to be more family friendly. The town recently banned profanity on the boardwalk and by next year, most of the beach will be smoke-free.
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