That controversial billboard has been taken down.
It’s gone. Done. Finito. Ripped into so many tiny shreds.
That’s not exactly a surprise — rarely has there been such political unanimity in San Francisco as there was about the hatred this cartoon campaign advertisement inspired.
San Francisco officials and community members were in a furor this weekend and Monday over a campaign billboard stumping for mayoral candidate Ellen Lee Zhou, which depicted a cartoon Mayor London Breed in a bright red dress, bare feet kicked up on a table, counting money, seemingly suggesting she’s personally profiting from San Francisco’s homeless crisis.
San Francisco elected officials banded together, calling out the billboard as racist, sexist, and just plain ol’ offensive.
Now I can report to you, dear readers, that the billboard has been removed by Outfront, the company that owns the billboard space.
While an Outfront spokesperson was able to immediately confirm that the company did indeed take the billboard down, a spokesperson who could comment on the company’s free speech and content policies was not immediately available. I’ll post an update when they reach out.
Yesterday, Assemblymember David Chiu stood in front of the mural with a bevy of politicians and said, “This type of political discourse has no place in America, and no place in San Francisco.”
Also at the press conference, Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer said “as a Chinese American, I am appalled that a fellow Chinese American would use this racist propaganda.”
For her part, Zhao, the conservative mayoral candidate who paid for the campaign billboard in the first place, defended it yesterday, even going as far as to call it “beautiful.”
“Whoever thinks this billboard is racist themselves are racist!” she said. “I am not looking for attention. I’m letting the San Francisco voters know they have a choice.”
They do indeed. My choice is to roll my eyes as fully around the inside of my noggin as possible.
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at Facebook.com/FitztheReporter.