A racist joke at the expense of first lady Michelle Obama is sparking outrage, and finger pointing, in California. And the offense is now being blamed on a clown.
According to the San Luis Obispo newspaper, the Tribune, an announcer during a Creston Classic Rodeo offended many in the stands after making a joke comparing the current first lady to the wife of presidential challenger Mitt Romney. The paper reported:
An announcer at the Creston Classic Rodeo offended some in the audience Saturday when he made a racist joke about first lady Michelle Obama over the PA system. Now, at least one rodeo board member is demanding an apology.
“I was really appalled and the people around me were really appalled,” said spectator Dona Wilson of Santa Margarita. “He was acting like we were buying into his bigotry and we weren’t.”
Wilson said she heard a lady beside her say: “ ‘Whoa! Racist or what?’ ”
According to Wilson, the joke as told by the announcer, went something like this: Playboy is offering Ann Romney $250,000 to pose in the magazine and the White House is upset about it because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them. “I can’t speak for the board, but I myself think that this is unacceptable behavior or conduct by the announcer,” said Mike Barrett, Creston Classic Rodeo board member. “I find it offensive, and I think that it’s conduct unbecoming the rodeo announcer.”
Wilson did not know the name of the announcer, but three board members told The Tribune the announcer was Ed Kutz of Arroyo Grande. It could not be confirmed that he was the one who made the remarks.
Now, the paper is reporting that the rodeo is blaming a clown for the incident, saying it was rodeo clown Mike Hayhurst, who the rodeo says is not officially affiliated with their organization, and not Kutz, who made the joke.
Creston Classic Rodeo board member Mike Barrett told the paper the nine-member board:
…is not responsible for the joke and will ask Hayhurst for a letter addressing the issue and a public apology. The board will discuss at its next meeting if it will fire Hayhurst, and will review scripts for future performances by any clown.”
“We probably won’t be using his services in the future,” Barrett said of the clown.