Florida Secretary of State resigns after photos of him in blackface surface
Michael Ertel, who started working as Florida’s Secretary of State on January 8, submitted his resignation only two weeks later after controversial photos surfaced.
Tallahassee Democrat, a local newspaper, obtained the images, in which Ertel appeared dressed in blackface as a Hurricane Katrina victim during a Halloween party in 2005.
Ertel, 49, was the Seminole County supervisor of elections when those photos were taken. They showed him wearing blackface, red lipstick, earring, and even false breasts under a dark purple shirt that had “Katrina Victim” on it.
The Democrat shared the photos Thursday with the Governor's Office, which had not previously seen them. https://t.co/quleb5ZMGX— Tallahassee Democrat (@TDOnline) January 24, 2019
Blackface is a form of theatrical make-up mostly used by non-Black performers to represent a Black person. In the US, it is generally considered highly offensive and disrespectful. However, it is a common practice in other countries.
Should I be outraged at the blackface, the transphobia, or the insensitivity to the strife of Katrina victims?— David McNeal (@repealsixteen) January 24, 2019
GOVERNOR’S THOUGHTS ON ERTEL’S RESIGNATION
Soon after Ertel submitted his resignation, the Governor’s Office released a statement pointing out that the Governor Ron DeSantis had accepted it. DeSantis himself addressed the situation during a news conference on hurricane relief in Marianna.
“It's unfortunate. I think he's done a lot of good work,” admitted the man, who later said that he accepted the resignation because he didn’t “want to get mired into kind of side controversies, and so I felt it was best to just accept the resignation and move on."
The internet always remembers— Claymore (@ClaymoreKwaram1) January 24, 2019
Apart from that, DeSantis shared that he thought Ertel regretted what had happened in 2005, but that he also wanted people to “be able to lead” and not having such a controversial history behind.
In Ertel’s resignation, he wrote, “I am submitting my resignation as Florida secretary of state effective immediately. It has been an honor to serve you and the voters of Florida."
KEVIN HART’S CASE
It is not the first time that someone’s past misbehavior makes them resign from a gig. One of the most publicized cases is that of Kevin Hart, who was chosen as the Oscars host.
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's....this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
However, he was in the middle of the storm after some old homophobic tweets resurfaced. The Academy asked him to issue an apology, but the actor refused to do so as he had addressed that topic several times before.
Soon later, things escalated so much that he decided to step down. In a tweet, the man said he didn’t want to be a distraction at the Oscars, hence, his decision. Then, Hart apologized to the LGBTQ community.
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