Michigan state legislator Peter J. Lucido (R) has come under fire after telling a reporter she should "hang around" with a group of around 309 teenage boys on a field trip to the state's Senate chamber, because they could "have a lot of fun with you."
The boys were from Lucido's alma mater, De La Salle Collegiate - an all boys' Catholic high school in Warren.
22-year-old Allison Donahue, a journalist for the Michigan Advance, wrote in a Wednesday report that she was waiting outside the Senate chamber to ask Lucido about an allegation that he belongs to a 'violent' Facebook group opposing Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
As I turned to walk away, he asked, “You’ve heard of De La Salle, right?”
I told him I hadn’t.
“It’s an all boys’ school,” he told me.
“You should hang around! You could have a lot of fun with these boys, or they could have a lot of fun with you.”
The teenagers burst into an Old Boys’ Network-type of laughter, and I walked away knowing that I had been the punchline of their “locker room” talk.
Except it wasn’t the locker room; it was the Senate chamber. And this isn’t high school. It’s my career. -Allison Donahue
"What was meant to be an opportunity for Lucido to respond to the report, turned into him making comments that objectified and humiliated me in front of a group of young boys," wrote Donahue.
Following Donahue's report, Lucido told the Detroit Free Press that his comments were "blown out of proportion," and that he was "not talking about anything sexual," but was simply "geeked up about the boys coming there" and "was there to have some fun."
He also told WDIV that Donahue's quote was "not accurate."
"I said, ‘We’re going on the floor to have some fun. You’re welcome to join us.’ This thing about what she interpreted, sexually or otherwise, it’s unfortunate," he said, adding "It really is. Truly unfortunate."
Lucido later apologized on Twitter according to the New York Times.
I apologize for the misunderstanding yesterday and for offending Allison Donahue.— Sen. Peter J. Lucido (@SenPeterJLucido) January 15, 2020
Donahue told the Times: "I have been asked a few times, do I want a better apology, and I think my biggest takeaway from this is, I have already called him out once about how to talk to women," adding "I should not have to tell him how to fix the situation."
Nathan Maus, the principal of De La Salle Collegiate, released a statement saying the comments “do not represent De La Salle nor the values and conduct we instill in our young men.”
“We are very sorry the reporter was put in this position and we have met with the boys who were on the tour to discuss the improper nature of this situation,” Mr. Maus said. -New York Times
How long until Lucido is canceled?