Andrew Yang offended an LGBTQ political group with ‘Michael Scott levels of cringe and insensitivity,’ report says

Andrew Yang
In this March 11, 2021 file photo, Democratic mayoral candidate Andrew Yang holds a news conference in the Dumbo neighborhood of New York.

  • NYC mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang’s pitch to an LGBTQ political club went disastrously wrong, per a New York Times report.
  • Yang grated the members with glib references to gay bars and gay people being “a secret weapon.”
  • One member of the club described his pitch as having “Michael Scott levels of cringe.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

New York City mayoral frontrunner Andrew Yang bewildered members of a prominent LGBTQ+ political club in the city with “Michael Scott levels of cringe” while trying to win their endorsement, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Several members of the Stonewall Democrats of New York City relayed to The Times and posted on Twitter that Yang offended the group by referring to the gay community as “so beautiful and human” and “a secret weapon,” and his constant references to gay bars and clubs.

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“I genuinely do love you and your community,” Yang said, according to a recording of a part of the event obtained by The Times. “You’re so human and beautiful. You make New York City special. I have no idea how we ever lose to the Republicans given that you all are frankly in, like, leadership roles all over the Democratic Party.”

“He kept calling us ‘Your community’, like we were aliens,” one member, filmmaker Harris Doran, told The Times.

“Oh man Andrew Yang at the Stonewall endorsement meeting was an inexperienced, ill informed joke who keep telling us his campaign manager was gay over and over and naming one gay bar over and over,” Doran also posted on Twitter on Wednesday night. “If you are thinking of voting for him, I beg of you, god help us, don’t.”

“When I see a candidate come in just with Michael Scott levels of cringe and insensitivity, it either tells me Andrew Yang is in over his head or is not listening to his staff,” Stonewall Club member Alejandra Caraballo told The Times. “Those are both radioactive flashing signs that say he is not prepared to be mayor of New York.”

The Democratic primary for mayor, which will be the first ranked-choice mayoral election in New York City’s history, is set to take place on June 22.

Yang was the first choice for 22% of likely Democratic primary voters in a recent Spectrum NY1/Ipsos poll, followed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams at 13%, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer at 11%, and former CitiGroup execute Ray McGuire at 6%.

The Stonewall Club chose to endorse Stringer for its first choice, nonprofit executive Dianne Morales for its second, and McGuire for its third.

Rose Christ, the club’s president, told The Times that Yang’s tone was “outdated,” and that his focus on gay bars and parades “are not the substantive issues that our membership cares about and it came off poorly.”

Sasha Neha Ahuja, one of Yang’s campaign managers who herself identifies at LGBTQ, told The Times: “I hope Andrew continues to have space for folks to listen with an open heart about the experiences of all communities that have been deeply impacted by years of oppression. I apologize if folks felt some type of way about it.”

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Andrew Yang has been hospitalized with an apparent kidney stone, his campaign says

Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang

New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang has been hospitalized with what appears to be a kidney stone, his campaign said.

He was taken to the emergency room after experiencing pain early Friday morning.

“After experiencing abdominal pain this morning, Andrew Yang visited an ER where he was diagnosed with what appears to be kidney stone,” campaign manager Chris Coffey said on Twitter. “He remains at the hospital with Evelyn. His events for the day are canceled, but he looks forward to getting back out on the trail soon.”

Earlier this year, Yang had to suspend in-person campaign events after testing positive for COVID-19.

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Andrew Yang intervened when a man wielding a metal pole attacked a photojournalist on the Staten Island Ferry

Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang, who is currently leading the contenders in his Democratic primary run for mayor of New York City, rides the Staten Island Ferry during a campaign stop to the borough on February 26, 2021 in New York City.

  • Andrew Yang intervened Friday when a man wielding a metal pipe attacked a photojournalist. 
  • Yang was able to calm the man and allow the journalist to exit the situation, according to reports.
  • Yang, a former presidential candidate, is running for mayor of New York City. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Andrew Yang, the businessman and former candidate for president who is running for mayor of New York City, intervened to help a news photographer who was attacked Friday while on a ferry in Staten Island.

According to a report from the Staten Island Advance, Yang at around 11 a.m. Friday was traveling from Manhattan to Staten Island with his staff and a small group of reporters as the mayoral candidate planned to tour the borough.

The photojournalist, Getty Images photographer Spencer Platt, told The New York Post he was talking on the phone when he was approached by his would-be attacker, clad in black cowboy hat and jeans, on the outdoor deck of the ferry

“I just said, ‘What’s up?’ He Immediately shoves me, I kind of tumble down,” Platt told the outlet. “I get back up, and he raises a steel bar – a broomstick handle – over his head.”

“He looks like he’s ready to strike me,” he added.

Yang, who was inside the ferry, rushed to the outdoor deck to intervene, according to the reports.

“I think most people would have the same impulse I had,” Yang told the Staten Island Advance. “To try and do anything that you can to protect somebody who might be threatened or endangered.”

Yang told the outlet that the attacker recognized him before “the situation de-escalated quickly.”

“I got up and tried to intervene as quickly as I could,” Yang said. “I’m thrilled that when he turned he saw me and recognized me, and the situation de-escalated quickly.”

Platt told the Staten Island Advance he thought the man would’ve “clocked” him without intervention from Yang and his team.

Yang is one in a crowded group of people running for New York City mayor to replace Bill de Blasio, who is serving his final term as mayor. Yang was one of many candidates who vied for the Democratic Party’s 2020 nominee for president.

According to Politico, Yang was leading the candidate among those surveyed in a poll by New York City-based Fontas Advisors and conducted by Core Decision Analytics earlier this month. About 84% of those surveyed said they knew who Yang was, with 28% of respondents choosing him as their top contender.

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