New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, mocked the anti-sexual harassment and sexual assault #MeToo movement Wednesday while speaking with reporters outside his Albany office.
“I’ll bring you up all on charges under the #MeToo movement,” Cuomo quipped, after being crowded by the reporters.
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 10, 2019
And, given his party affiliation, Cuomo was convinced he’s bulletproof, as he was unapologetic about the “offhand comment,” as he characterized his remark in a radio interview.
“I think it was an offhand comment,” he told WAMC. “You know, I walked out into the highway and I was assaulted by the gaggle and pieces of equipment hitting me and all sorts of my anatomy.”
“It was an offhand comment just to get them to move back,” he added. “You know, the physical assault was overwhelming. But it was just an offhand comment.”
Was the Cuomo gaggle crowded? Yes, absolutely. Was he "assaulted" by reporters? Absolutely not.
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellGAN) January 10, 2019
Never mind that the video says otherwise. Either way, Cuomo’s Teflon shield wasn’t quite as strong as he thought.
The Washington Free Beacon detailed some of the reactions from liberal sources.
“Just when you thought New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo couldn’t get any worse, he did!” wrote Splinter‘s Samantha Grasso.
“The remark raises several questions — first of all: Excuse me?” wrote Opheli Garcia Lawler for the New Yorker. “But also: Why would someone make light of sexual assault and harassment, especially in a room filled with people bearing recording devices?”
The liberal tabloid New York Daily News noted that Cuomo made the joke on a “historic day for female politicians in New York,” shortly after Andrea Stewart-Cousins was sworn in as New York’s first female state Senate majority leader.
Leah Hebert, a co-founder of the Albany-based Sexual Harassment Working Group, took to Twitter to call Cuomo’s comment “disgusting behavior.”
“This is not leadership. This disgusting behavior keeps victims silent and allows perpetrators to thrive. For years we’ve been forced to just smile and take it, be a “team player”, and laugh at our own expense. Albany needs to hear #Metoo and that starts with @NYGovCuomo,” Hebert tweeted.
Culture change starts at the top. When reporting & experiences of sexual harassment are made light of, it reinforces harmful stereotypes and it signals to victims that they will not be taken seriously if they report.
We need a #HarassmentFreeAlbany.
— Leah Hebert (@LeahMHebert) January 10, 2019
Even unhinged liberal Kathy Griffin weighed in — it appears posing with the severed fake head of President Trump is acceptable, but mocking the #MeToo movement is a bridge too far for the vile comedian.
Stop him. Unlike the gop, we have a much better history of weeding out our bad ones. Look it up before you @ me!
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) January 9, 2019
Here’s a sampling of other responses from Twitter:
This issue is not that he inaccurately said he was assaulted. The issue is that he made light of serious issue.
— Pat Miguel Tomaino (@Pat_Tomaino) January 10, 2019
Can one put their foot in their mouth while their toes are being stepped on? Apparently, yes.
— Jason Franchuk (@HarkTheFranchuk) January 10, 2019
Hi @NYGovCuomo, when my anatomy was violated, I was unable to make an ‘offhand comment’ about it. Why? Because a man bigger than me was holding my body down. The literal millions of survivors of assault in NYS do not appreciate your making light of sexual violence. #MeToo https://t.co/INNAeOxqAm
— Ava Benezra (@avabenezra) January 10, 2019
A state leader who for months touted having the strongest anti-sexual harassment laws in the nation should know that it’s more than just an off-hand comment.
It’s time you learned how to be a true ally, Governor. We’ll save you seat at the hearing. https://t.co/xNsom8AeH7
— Erica Vladimer (@EricaArden) January 10, 2019
Let’s play a little game. I call it “What if a Republican had said it…” 🤔
— Josh Power (@JoshPower5) January 10, 2019
I wonder if his brother Fredo will show this clip on his show tonight.
— Scot (@slraider) January 10, 2019
Love the irony. But do we really want to live in this world with words and jokes being policed. Who wants that, America, no less.
— TheKipper (@MeechonMeech) January 10, 2019