May 18, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Burbank Mayor Faces Backlash Over Playful Video, Cites Critics Anti-LGBTQ+ Bias

Mayor Konstantine Anthony Defends Actions Amid Controversy Over Video 

By Dolores Quintana

Burbank Mayor Konstantine Anthony is facing criticism from conservatives following the circulation of a video showing him being spanked by a drag queen during an event on the weekend of September 10. Anthony has responded that some of his critics are motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias and that the incident was harmless.

In the video, posted by the Wisenuts podcast, Mayor Anthony is seen being spanked by a drag artist, backed by the Village People’s “Macho Man.” Anthony described the events as “shenanigans” and emphasized that it was all in good fun. He went on to reveal that a secretly recorded video was made during the event and subsequently shared with a prominent hate group.

In a post on his Instagram account, Anthony stated, “For several days, extremist right-wing organizations, including Fox News, have spread misleading information to fuel fear, discrimination, and hate. I will always be a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and drag performers.”

He added, “On a busy Saturday filled with various independent gatherings, I attended the Santa Clarita Valley Democrats’ private fundraiser for their organization. Notably, there were no officially endorsed candidates or state and federal political figures present. The event was open to young adults ages 15 and above. However, there were no attendees below 18. Additionally, no children were present.”

While not specifying the particular hate group in question, it is possible that Anthony was referring to the Twitter account, now known as X, called “Libs of TikTok,” which reposted the video and garnered over 8 million views.

In response to the video, the Libs of TikTok account claimed that children were present at the event. Mayor Anthony disputed this assertion, stating that “actually, there weren’t any children at this private 21+ event. But of course, lying is totally on brand for you.”

While the account correctly pointed out that individuals aged 15 and older were permitted to attend, the event’s organizer, the Santa Clarita Valley Democrats, released a statement clarifying that no individuals under the age of 18 were in attendance. 

Mayor Anthony reiterated this point during a City Council meeting and expressed his concern that the video’s circulation had led to city officials receiving “some of the most vile hate speech that I have ever seen.” 

Anthony encouraged those with concerns about his actions to communicate with him directly via email at kanthony@burbankca.gov. He stated, “If you want to talk to me about what happened over the weekend, send me an email. Send me an email. I will talk to you about it. There is no reason to involve all of the other people who were not at a public event, not at a government-sponsored event. It wasn’t even in the city of Burbank.”

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Santa Clarita Valley Democrats voiced their support for Mayor Anthony and strongly denounced the sensationalized and inaccurate portrayal of their event for political purposes that promoted fear, homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry. The Democrats reaffirmed their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and drag performers, refusing to engage with what they referred to as “fake outrage.”

in NEWS
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