AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine legislator who appeared for Zoom conferences twice with a background that made a joking reference to convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein is being investigated by the Legislature’s human sources division.
The investigation will give attention to whether or not state Rep. Bruce Bickford, a Republican from Auburn, violated the Legislature’s harassment coverage, Jenna Howard, spokesperson for Democratic Home Speaker Ryan Fecteau, mentioned Thursday.
Bickford issued a written apology for the Zoom backdrop, calling it “inappropriate and in poor style.” However he additionally instructed a newspaper that the joke would have been humorous “within the personal setting with the correct folks.”
The picture had the phrases “Harvey Weinstein Appeal Faculty Rehab Middle” and appeared twice in Zoom conferences during which Bickford participated. The most recent was throughout a taxation committee listening to on Wednesday. Each occasions, Bickford shortly modified the background to a lake, which is his typical background for Zoom conferences.
Weinstein is a former Hollywood producer who confronted accusations of sexually assaulting greater than 80 girls, and anger over his actions fueled the #MeToo motion towards the sexual abuse and harassment of ladies. Weinstein is presently in jail for rape.
Bickford mentioned the signal was meant to be proven solely in personal settings.
“It was inappropriate and in poor style. I sincerely remorse the occasion and can be certain that it doesn’t occur once more,” he wrote. “Please settle for my apology.”
Home Majority Chief Michelle Dunphy and Assistant Majority Chief Rachel Talbot Ross mentioned Bickford’s apology did not reveal an understanding of why his actions have been fallacious.
“Rep. Bickford not solely belittled the violence dedicated towards Weinstein’s 80 victims, however he disrespected our complete legislative department, the workers who assist our work and each Mainer who has skilled sexual assault and harassment,” they mentioned in an announcement.
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