By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com November 16 2013 2:56 PM ET
CNN’s Anderson Cooper has denounced Alec Baldwin for his latest antigay tirade, but Cooper’s getting some criticism from other quarters, although it’s not gay-related.
On a recent episode of the out journalist’s Anderson Cooper 360 show, his “Ridiculist” segment featured video of Cindy Mejía, Peru’s entrant in last weekend’s Miss Universe pageant. He dissolved into giggles as he described her costume, a colorful dress representing the traditional attire of women in the nation’s Mantaro Valley region, with a plastic baby doll attached to her shoulder.
It was the latter element that particularly tickled Cooper. “What says Peru more than colorful flowers and what appears to be a plastic little old man baby on her shoulder wearing a hat?” he said before bursting into uncontrollable laughter, then added, “Oh, look, the man baby looks surprised! He’s got his little, little man baby hand right up there in front of his face like, ‘Oh! I’m a little — I’m a man baby from Peru.’”
Peruvians have called Cooper’s reaction insulting. “Comments in Peru’s media have ranged from outrage to indignation to calls for an apology,” reports the website Hispanically Speaking News. “The majority are upset that Cooper appeared ignorant on the traditions of Peru.”
View video of the segment here.