A Republican Michigan lawmaker in Michigan said this week that he regretted calling California “the land of fruits and nuts,” which his colleagues interpreted as a bigoted slur against LGBT people.
While arguing for the repeal of regulations on chair lifts, state Rep. Al Pscholka (R) pointed out that California had already deregulated the industry.
“In Michigan it costs nearly twice, nearly double that of unregulated surrounding states to install these simple residential lifts, higher costs encourage people to buy their products in neighboring states,” he explained. “Sometimes they even install them themselves. And in a district like mine, Indiana is only a short drive away.”
“California—even California, the land of fruits and nuts—has deregulated this industry,” Pscholka quipped, adding, “Probably shouldn’t have said that. Sorry, Mr. Speaker.”
Openly gay Democratic state Rep. Jeremy Moss said that Pscholka’s remarks were obviously intended as a slur.
“It’s a play on words, but everybody knows it’s just a derogatory term to refer to gay people as fruits,” Moss explained. “It was written on papers in front of him. He was reading them. He thought it was funny and gave a feigned apology (on the floor). This was a planned joke at the expense of gay people.”
In a statement on Wednesday, Pscholka insisted that the remarks were intended “to be jocular, not derogatory.”
“I apologize to anyone who was offended by my comments,” the statement said. “It was truly not meant in a derogatory manner.”
Listen to audio of Pscholka’s remarks below.
The View co-hosts burst into laughter over Rudy Giuliani’s ‘Borat’ denials: ‘Please make it stop!’
"The View" panelists burst into laughter over Rudy Giuliani's denial that he did anything inappropriate with a young actress in the new "Borat" sequel.
President Donald Trump's attorney appears as himself in the faux documentary "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm," starring comedian Sacha Baron Cohen and Bulgarian actor Maria Bakalova.
Giuliani accepts an invitation to join Bakalova, who plays Borat's 15-year-old daughter, for a drink in a hotel bedroom after an interview, and Cohen bursts into the room after Guiliani lies down on a bed and stuffs his hand into his pants.
"He says he didn't do anything inappropriate," said host Whoopi Goldberg. "He's just sort of, you know, tucking his shirt in when he was laying on his back."
WATCH: Sacha Baron Cohen used Trump-loving OAN network to infiltrate the White House
Sacha Baron Cohen managed to get the actress who plays Borat's daughter into the White House -- all with some help from the Trump-loving One America News network.
In a preview clip posted online, Cohen's Borat character claims that OAN White House correspondent Chanel Rion brought actress Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat's daughter in the latest movie, into the White House with her.
"They take my daughter into the White House!" Borat boasts. "No need for security checks or COVID test!"
WATCH: Trump supporter gets tied up in knots defending president’s $750 income tax payments
A support of President Donald Trump this week struggled to defend the president paying just $750 per year in federal income tax.
During an interview with CNN correspondent Elle Reeve, a half-masked Trump supporter said that he wasn't bothered by the president's low tax bill because he figured all rich people pay so little in taxes.
"I would love to be able to comment on that," he replied. "I don't know. And it's one of those situations where you and I can both sit here and say if we made that kind of money, you know, you're going to play the tax game. It's set for millionaires to play the game."