Andrew Yang‘s quest to become the mayor of New York City hit what he says was an “awkward” snag, thanks to a street interview in which he burst into laughter at a “choke a b——” question.
Local news covered the front-runner’s incident and the ensuing fallout among progressive women.
“Absolutely, you do not get to engage in that behavior,” mayoral candidate Maya Wiley told a local ABC affiliate after Mr. Yang laughed at a man’s question about choking women during sex.
The former Democratic Party presidential hopeful — now vying to become the Big Apple’s 110th mayor in November — immediately made a “cut it” motion with his hand while walking away.
“We do not laugh, and we do not turn our backs and walk away,” Ms. Wiley added.
The video attributed to comedian Lawrence Reese has tallied over 30,000 views on YouTube in roughly 24 hours.
State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblymembers Catalina Cruz, Carmen De La Rosa, Linda Rosenthal and Nily Rozic also released a statement saying it was another instance “in a long list of troubling evidence about Yang‘s character that follows countless reports of toxic masculinity, misogyny and bro-culture that have defined his past campaigns and companies.”
The women said they “couldn’t believe our eyes or ears. When Andrew Yang was asked by supporters about violently assaulting women, he responded by laughing. But this isn’t a laughing matter, and it isn’t just ‘locker room talk.’ Language like this perpetuates real violence against women. … This is disqualifying for someone who is seeking to be mayor of New York.”
Mr. Yang‘s campaign said the video “reflects a quick awkward moment,” while the candidate said he was trying “to be friendly” before being blindsided by the question.
“[The interviewer] said something that was plainly inappropriate that I didn’t find funny at all and so I walked away,” Mr. Yang added.
• Douglas Ernst can be reached at email@example.com.
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