On Monday night, Myles Toe, a 26-year-old comic, and several other associates have been lingering exterior of The Stand, a comedy membership close to Union Sq., in hopes of getting a glimpse of Dave Chappelle, who was performing that night.
As a substitute, he and several other of his associates acknowledged Andrew Yang exterior. They instantly started joking with the mayoral candidate, who had come to assist and watch Chappelle, an ardent supporter of his presidential run. Toe requested Yang if he can be prepared to be in a video along with his good friend and fellow comic Lawrence Reese, who does man-on-the-street interviews that he shares on the web.
Yang mentioned sure.
“I used to be actually shocked he mentioned that,” Toe informed Gothamist.
What they captured was a controversial video that includes Yang showing to chortle at their misogynistic jokes. The video went viral, drawing sharp condemnation from a number of of Yang’s Democratic rivals, together with Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Kathryn Garcia and Eric Adams, together with their supporters, and leaving his marketing campaign scrambling to clarify his actions for the third time this week.
Within the video, Reese begins by making a reference to Timberland boots, “Can a person hold his Timbs on?” After Yang expresses confusion, Reese provides, “Yeah, whereas he is f–king bitches?”
Yang replies, “I feel it is purely as much as your companion proper?” He then places his hand on Reese’s shoulder.
Reese continues by asking, ““Do you choke bitches, Andrew Yang?” Yang laughs after which walks away, making a reduce signal along with his hand.
At a press convention in entrance of Brooklyn’s Borough Corridor on Thursday, Yang was requested in regards to the incident.
“I feel most New Yorkers know I attempt to be pleasant with folks. On this case somebody wished a video and I believed I would be pleasant. However then I do know, he mentioned one thing that was plainly inappropriate that I did not discover humorous in any respect. And so I walked away and ended the interplay as rapidly as doable,” he mentioned.
Yang added: “You are in a posture the place you are attempting to be pleasant to somebody and you then’re shocked and shocked that rapidly it goes in that path, so I reacted to the interplay as rapidly as doable.”
With the mayoral marketing campaign season swinging into excessive gear, different candidates seized on the video and blasted Yang’s response. Essentially the most vocal response got here from Wiley who held a press convention with a dozen supporters on Thursday, together with a number of girls who described their very own expertise with gender-based violence and sexual assault.
“What ought to strike all of us is that he engaged on this locker room discuss within the first place. That he didn’t shut it down. That as quickly as this man threw the B-word on the market, sport over,” mentioned Wiley, suggesting that Yang ought to have made clear he wouldn’t have interaction in a dialog that diminishes girls or the use language that degrades them.
She added: “It’s time for it to cease, it’s time for us to name it out, and it’s time for us ask each final one among our residents to say, no.”
When requested if she was exploiting Yang’s gaffe to attain political factors, Wiley didn’t again down.
“Males do that on a regular basis, on a regular basis,” she mentioned. “Individuals are free to vote for whomever they need, however by God I don’t care what anybody says about why I’m doing it, I do know why.”
Two girls, together with former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, shared tales of surviving sexual violence through the press convention.
Metropolis Comptroller Stringer issued an announcement from a bunch of feminine elected officers, together with State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblymembers Linda Rosenthal, Nily Rozic, Carmen De La Rosa, and Catalina Cruz, accusing Yang of not standing as much as misogyny.
“It isn’t simply ‘locker room discuss.’ Language like this perpetuates actual violence towards girls,” they mentioned. “And laughing at it’s the newest in a protracted record of troubling proof about Yang’s character that follows numerous experiences of poisonous masculinity, misogyny, and bro-culture which have outlined his previous campaigns and firms.”
Yang’s former staff and marketing campaign staffers on his presidential marketing campaign have complained of a “poisonous” “bro” work tradition.
“To place it plainly — that is disqualifying for somebody who’s looking for to be mayor of New York,” the ladies lawmakers mentioned.
Garcia issued an announcement, saying, “It’s fully too frequent that males really feel uncomfortable dealing with these conditions correctly. As a society, we have to get to a spot the place all males arise and name these feedback out instantly.”
“Girls in management issues as a result of we all know what it feels wish to be on the opposite finish of most of these remarks,” she added.
Not all the ladies within the race opted to weigh in. A spokeswoman for Dianne Morales’ marketing campaign declined to remark.
Adams, the Brooklyn borough president who’s trailing Yang in a number of polls, was requested in regards to the video throughout an look on Fox 5 on Thursday night time.
“Unacceptable. We’re regularly seeing why Andrew Yang will not be match to be the mayor of this metropolis,” he mentioned.
The second comes on the heels of two missteps earlier this week by Yang. On Sunday, he drew criticism after suggesting in a tweet that town ought to ramp up its enforcement of unlicensed avenue distributors. Yang later mentioned he regretted these remarks.
Then on Tuesday, Black Lives Matter activists heckled and accused him of utilizing them as a political photo-op after he joined them in a motorbike trip and vigil for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old unarmed Black man who was killed lately by a Minneapolis policewoman.
Toe mentioned he and his associates didn’t intend for the video to embarrass or injury Yang. Reese, the comic within the video, additionally confirmed the story.
A good friend helped them edit it, including subtitles and textual content, and Reese uploaded on the video on his Instagram web page, however purposely didn’t tag Yang. Then on Wednesday, Charlamagne tha God, one of many hosts of a well-liked radio present referred to as The Breakfast Membership, shared it on his Instagram account.
Toe, who mentioned he doesn’t comply with politics, mentioned he didn’t remorse posting the video and mentioned he felt it made Yang extra relatable in his eyes.
“Yang was within the streets with us. 5 Black children,” he mentioned. “To hold with us within the streets was the good factor ever.”
He added: “It was only a human to human second.”
Extra reporting from Gwynne Hogan