BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Anderson Cooper went into a fit of giggles while talking about Buffalo's Dyngus Day tradition, and though he has apologized, Polonia says the national television host went too far.
Cooper lost control while showing News 4's coverage of Dyngus Day celebrations in Buffalo. His remarks struck a nerve. Though Cooper calls it a misunderstanding, not everyone is buying it.
Dyngus Day is a Polish-American tradition, celebrating the end of Lent and the joy of Easter. Buffalo, being the Dyngus Day capital, is once again on the receiving end of a swipe. While discussing it on his show, Anderson Cooper had to wipe away tears because he was laughing so hard.
>>Watch the full video of Cooper losing control at the bottom of this story
But not everyone in western New York - especially in the Polish-American community - are laughing. They responded to Cooper and quickly held a press conference and rally, which you can see photos of here, at Redlinski Meats in Cheektowaga.
Dyngus Day organizer Eddy Dobosiewicz said, "We will not sit back lightly and let the likes of Anderson Cooper have fun with us at our expense."
In the clip, Cooper says to get the "most bang for your Dyngus buck, you got to shuffalo off to Buffalo." He then proceeded to show a clip of News 4's Joe Arena's story, showing the tradition of boys sprinkling girls they like with water while the girls tap them back with a pussy willow branch.
That's when Cooper lost it, uncontrollably laughing, wiping away tears, and saying, "It's really so stupid."
Those who take the Post-Lenten festival seriously were not amused.
One woman said, "Everybody seems to pick on Polish people a lot and we don't want it. We don't want to stand for it."
"Mr. Cooper, you can make all the jokes you want, but we take Dyngus Day very seriously here in Buffalo, New York," said Dobosiewicz.
Cooper did release a statement apologizing, saying his "stupid" reference was about his inability to stop laughing - not about Dyngus Day.
He also tweeted the following:
"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 also tweeted, "In ridiculist I called my silly giggle fit "so stupid" not @dyngusday. Sounds like a fun celebration. Genuinely sorry if I offended anyone."
In response, Cooper is being invited to next year's Dyngus Day Buffalo. The invite will be shipped in a box containing a sample of Buffalo's favorite foods.
Dobosiewicz assured, "We'll roll out the red carpet. We'll let him sleep in the Tom Brady suite at the Holiday Inn downtown. He'll come to her house. [Speaking about woman at rally.] She's got pierogies!"
Though Cooper did apologize, Dobosiewicz retorted, "He called it stupid. He can spin it however he wants, and with a spin machine like that, he should run for office."
However, Dobosiewicz is scheduled to appear on Cooper's broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday night to discuss the incident. We'll let you know how it goes!
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