Amhearst, Mass. Reacts to 'The Vagina Monologues'

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, February 16, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

Watch The O'Reilly Factor weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the Radio Factor!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  In the "Factor Follow-Up" segment tonight, we have been reporting about what we feel is an outrageous situation at Amherst Regional High School (search) in Massachusetts.  Over the weekend, it showed the play "The Vagina Monologues" to students with parental permission.  This same school banned the play, "West Side Story," (search) saying it promoted racial stereotypes.  Now "The Vagina Monologues" contains explicit sexual scenes and language acted by the students themselves on stage.

"Factor" producer Nate Fredman was in the audience.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I'm proud of the high school and I'm delighted to bring my daughter to view the production.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Everyone thought, you know, you're going to be outraged.  It's going to be, you know -- it was perfect.  It wasn't --wasn't at all offensive to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What about the monologue that talks about an older woman having sex with a 16-year-old girl?  Is that appropriate for high school students?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Twenty-four is not older.  I'm older.  I'm 42.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Older woman, oh.  That's nothing, nothing compared to the level of abuse that women have gone through, that this drama talks about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What do you think about high school students using the "C-word?"

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  [EXPLETIVE DELETED]  I think it's great.  It's about time it had a revival.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think what's so beautiful about this performance is these girls are taking that word on with pride.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I thought it was completely appropriate for us, and I thought we did it well.


O'REILLY:  All right. Joining us now from Hartford, Connecticut, is one of the few people in Amherst who objected to the play, Larry Kelley.

Can you believe that woman -- 24 -- is not older?  I mean it's fine to commit a crime on stage, you know, because a 24-year-old woman having sex with a 16-year-old girl in a lot of states -- I don't know about the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] is a crime.  You know, I mean we couldn't find any dissenters except for you, Mr. Kelley.  Either they're frightened or this is the village of the damned, this Amherst, Massachusetts (search).  You know what I'm talking about?  These are alien people.

LARRY KELLEY, FORMER "AMHERST BULLETIN" COLUMNIST:  Well, that's right, Bill.  If I were pitching this to a Hollywood producer, it would be"Invasion of the Body Snatchers Meets the Stepford Wives."

But, you know, to -- again, the last time I was there, a month ago, there had only been one school committee meeting, and I was outnumbered 5-2.

Since then, there's been two more meetings.  There was a 9-4 turnout against the play, and then the most recent meeting was just last Tuesday night, not even a week ago, and seven people turned out to speak against the play, and no one turned out in favor of it.

So you know...

O'REILLY:  How was it for you knowing Amherst -- you've been an Amherst citizen your whole life, you're a fifth-generation family, and Amherst is a beautiful town, by the way, if people haven't been there.  It's just a very nice place to live.

How disturbing was it to see these high school kids on stage, you know, simulating orgasms, using the C word and all of that?

KELLEY:  It was very disturbing.  I mean I went into it -- I had read the play two or three times.  I'd seen Ensler perform it two or three times.

But the one thing that I didn't anticipate going into it was the crowd reaction or I probably should use the term "interaction," especially the --yes, the one scene there where the girl works herself into a frenzy and then has the surprise triple-moan-orgasm at the very end of it and, at that precise second, the entire crowd erupted into loud applause as though it were a hockey game scoring winning goal or something like that.

And I'm looking around because I was way, way in the back -- and I'm looking around at 40-something-, 50-something-, 60-something-year-old men applauding vigorously [for] a 16-year-old girl on stage who had just simulated an orgasm.

O'REILLY:  How young...

KELLEY:  I mean I've...

O'REILLY:  How young was the girl?

KELLEY:  Well, she's in high school.  I mean she looked to me to be about 16.  I mean that's just...

O'REILLY:  Our producer reports that there were kids as young as 11and 12 in the audience.

KELLEY:  Right.  Well, that was another thing that I hadn't anticipated.  They took a break halfway through, a 15-minute break, so everybody kind of like piled out into the hallway, and I was walking around out there, and I saw at least two mini packs of like six, seven, eight, nine of them that were pre-pubescent.

I mean, I've been teaching karate to kids for 30 years, Bill.  I know a pre-pubescent girl when I see her.  And there were six, seven, eight, nine of them in two different packs roaming around.  So that tells me that they really didn't treat this like an R-rated movie.

I mean, obviously, their parents had given them a permission slip to come to this thing, but, by the same token, if these kids had gone to a local movie theater with just that permission slip alone in hand, they would not have been let in.  They would have had to have the parent org uardian with them.

O'REILLY:  Well, I don't think Amherst, Massachusetts, will ever recover from this, Mr. Kelley.

We appreciate your candor and your courage because you're one of few who stood up and talked about it, and it's very disturbing.

Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2004 Fox News Network, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2004 eMediaMillWorks, Inc. (f/k/a Federal Document Clearing House, Inc.), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, Inc.'s and eMediaMillWorks, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.