Democrat Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell sparked criticism over the weekend when she was captured flipping the bird at a Mardi Gras celebration.
The obscene gesture happened at the Krewe of Tucks parade outside the city’s historic Gallier Hall. Cantrell gave what appeared to be a raised middle finger to people on one of the parade floats.
“We love you. God bless you. I’ll see you. Happy Mardi Gras. Enjoy the ride. So glad your ride was good. Love you,” Cantrell said before flipping the gesture.
Cantrell’s communication director Gregory Joseph told WVUE that the mayor intended the gesture to be playful without specifying why she made the gesture.
“Mardi Gras is a time where satire and jest are on full display,” he said. “The City has been enjoying a safe and healthy Carnival and is looking forward continuing the celebration on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras.”
As noted by Fox News, Cantrell has been at the center of controversy in recent weeks after she was “accused of having an affair with a police officer formerly assigned to her.”
“The officer was removed from his position on her detail following the discovery of irregularities in his pay,” noted Fox News. “Cantrell denied the allegations, attributed them to sexism, and claimed they wouldn’t have been made if she were a man. The officer’s wife, however, claimed in a divorce petition that her husband admitted to the affair.”
The controversy over Cantrell’s alleged middle finger gesture recalls the time Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti dropped an F-bomb on live TV when celebrating the LA Kings winning the Stanley Cup Finals.
“They say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear, but this is a big fucking day,” Garcetti said as he held a beer, drawing roars of laughter and applause from those in attendance.