The CNN anchor upsets local people with a segment which pokes fun at the Polish-American holiday, as he says, 'It's so stupid,' when he can't stop giggling at one remark.
Anderson Cooper landed in hot water after making fun of Dyngus Day in his RidicuList segment of "Anderson Cooper 360". The 44-year-old said, "It's so stupid, really so stupid", as he cracked up at a line "boys sprinkling girls that they fancy with water, and the girls striking back with a tap from a pussy willow branch," which explains one ritual in the Polish-American holiday.
Feeling offended by the remark, Alex Storozynski, president of the Kosciuszko Foundation which promotes cultural ties between the U.S. and Poland, asked in a statement, "Would Anderson Cooper dare make fun of the Islamic holiday Id al-Fitr, in which Muslims spend three days celebrating their month-long fast?"
Cooper has since cleared up his "stupid" comment and apologized if he offended people with the segment. "I am concerned to hear that some people believe that I called Dyngus Day celebrations 'stupid' or in any way criticized this holiday. I did not," he explained in a statement. "While in the midst of a silly giggle fit I said 'this is so stupid' in reference to my inability to stop laughing."
"I was not saying Dyngus Day was 'so stupid.' I apologize to anyone who got the impression that I was being critical of Dyngus Day. I am genuinely sorry if I offended anyone by the lighthearted tone of the 'RidicuList'."
In a similar tone, he wrote on his Twitter page, "Just learned some groups believe I called Dyngus Day 'so stupid' in ridiculist. I didn't. I was saying my giggling fit was 'so stupid'." He added in another post, "In ridiculist I called my silly giggle fit 'so stupid' not @dyngusday. Sounds like a fun celebration. Genuinely sorry if I offended anyone."
However, Eddy Dobosiewicz, the co-founder of Dyngus Day Buffalo, doubted Cooper's apology. "He called it stupid. He can spin it however he wants and with a spin machine like that he should run for office," he said.
Despite the backlash, Dobosiewicz has been invited to make an appearance on CNN with Cooper on Wednesday, April 11 night. He will officially ask the anchor to be the "Pussy Willow Prince" at next year's Dyngus Day Parade.
Dyngus Day is a Polish-American tradition celebrating the end of Lent. The world's largest organized Dyngus Day celebration occurs in Buffalo, New York, while the tradition itself is also popular in Wyandotte and Hamtramck in Michigan, South Bend and La Porte in Indiana, and Hanover in New Hampshire.