- 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.”
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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.
“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.”
-big if tired (@JosephJourdan) April 22, 2021
“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.”