An annual rodeo in the city of Creston, California, is drawing national attention after one of the “rodeo clowns” made a racist joke about Michelle Obama over the loudspeaker system.
According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, Mike Hayhurst said something along the lines of: “Playboy is offering Ann Romney $250,000 to pose in the magazine, and the White House is upset because National Geographic only offered Michelle Obama $50 to pose for them.”
“I was really appalled and the people around me were really appalled,” spectator Dona Wilson of Santa Margarita remarked. “He was acting like we were buying into his bigotry and we weren’t.”
Another simply said: “Whoa! racist, much?!”
It was originally reported that the rodeo’s announcer made the off-color remark, but a member of the Creston Classic board has confirmed that Hayhurst is the culprit.
Speaking for the board, Mike Barrett condemned the joke and disavowed any responsibility for it, because Hayhurst is an independent contractor. Though he had reportedly performed in the rodeo for several years, Barrett said they “probably won’t be using his services in the future.”
The board has also asked Hayurst for a letter addressing the issue and a public apology, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, but he has been unavailable for comment because he is in the hospital for a head injury.
Barrett added that he personally found the joke “unacceptable,” “offensive,” and “unbecoming.”