Mardi Gras is an annual event that occurs in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the day before Ash Wednesday – Fat Tuesday. The event is full of color, fanfare, dancing, festivals, and parades that transform the entire city into a joyful party. Carnival, which begins at the beginning of January and brings enthusiasm to the city, precedes the event. At one of the season’s parades, a local politician was captured on tape expressing an unexpected reaction to the festivities.
On February 19, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) stood on the sidelines of a parade, shouting at Carnival float riders before throwing them the finger. It’s unknown what prompted Cantrell’s outburst. The mayor can be heard saying things like “God bless you,” “Happy Mardi Gras,” and “enjoy your ride” on the video. She then made an obscene gesture towards them and said, “love you.”
New Orleans Mayor Caught Flipping Middle Finger at Mardi Gras Parade https://t.co/qFj8GS3GGG— AppPatriotgirl 🇺🇸 (@jsmith4966) February 22, 2023
According to WAFB, the mayor’s office issued a statement following the incident, stating that the Mardi Gras season is a “time where satire and jest” are common for all the world to see. Cantrell’s Communications Director Gregory Joseph said New Orleans residents and visitors have been enjoying themselves during a “safe and healthy” Carnival and they looked forward to continuing the celebration on Lundi and Mardi Gras.
Although the mayor’s administration dismissed the gesture as insignificant, others were skeptical. Dr. Robert Collins, a Fox 8 political analyst, called the exhibit “pretty shocking” given Cantrell’s status as mayor. Throughout his years as a political personal relations person, the analyst said he’s “never seen a mayor” respond like that.
Cantrell faced another form of controversy last month. The mayor was suspected of having an affair with a police officer who used to be on her detail, according to Fox News. She vehemently disputed the charges, claiming that they were just sexist.