White Wyoming legislator is under fire over 'racist' tweet about the state's first black sheriff after sharing a clip from a movie with a black character asking, 'Where the white women at?'

 A white Wyoming state legislator has apologized after sparking outrage by posting a racially charged tweet seemingly poking fun at the state’s first black sheriff.

Republican state Rep. Cyrus Western replied on social media on Monday to an article about Albany County Sheriff Aaron Appelhans’ recent appointment with a clip that showed a black character from the classic comedy Blazing Saddles asking, 'Hey, where the white women at?'

Western said he has since called Appelhans to apologize. The state representative, who deleted his tweet after sparking backlash, said that his post was intended to be a reference to Mel Brooks' classic 1974 satirical Western and not meant to disparage the state’s first black sheriff. 


Wyoming state legislator Cyrus Western on Monday shared on Twitter this clip from the 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles in response to an article about the recent appointment of the state's first black sheriff

Wyoming state legislator Cyrus Western on Monday shared on Twitter this clip from the 1974 comedy Blazing Saddles in response to an article about the recent appointment of the state's first black sheriff 

Republican state Rep. Cyrus Western
Albany County Sheriff Aaron Appelhans

Republican state Rep. Western, who is white (left), came under fire over the post poking fun at Albany County Sheriff Aaron Appelhans (right)

Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in classic Blazing Saddles scene
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In the widely celebrated film, a former slave named Bart, played by Cleavon Little, serves as the sheriff of an all-white town and initially faces hostility from its racist inhabitants.

In the scene referenced by Western's tweet, Sheriff Bart and his ally, Jim 'The Waco Kid,' played by Gene Wilder, try to draw attention of some Ku Klux Klan members so they could steal their robes.    

'I’d like to issue a retraction,' Rep Western wrote in a tweet Wednesday morning. 'My remark about the new Albany Sheriff was dumb and uncalled for.'

'What I did was insensitive, and, while unintended, I recognize that it was wrong,' Western added. 'I hope he accepts my apology.'

Western later issued this apology on Twitter, calling his now-deleted post 'dumb and uncalled for'

Western later issued this apology on Twitter, calling his now-deleted post 'dumb and uncalled for'

Western told The Sheridan Press he later had a lengthy conversation with Appelhans and apologized to him directly.

'I didn’t think it through at all,' Western told the newspaper. 'There was no malice or ill will.' 

Western, who has represented District 51 in the Wyoming House of Representatives since January 2019, conceded that he broke his own 'standards and rules,' albeit without malice. 

'I need to acknowledge that and focus on getting back on track and try to live up to those standards,' he said. 

Appelhans, who took office last Friday, said he was disappointed when he learned of the incident. Racist incidents similar to this has happened to him before, he said.

In interviews with local media outlets, Western said he spoke to Appelhans and apologized to him directly for the tweet, but said it was not motivated by malice
The new sheriff said he was disappointed and expected the lawmaker to 'be better'

In interviews with local media outlets, Western said he spoke to Appelhans and apologized to him directly for the tweet, but said it was not motivated by malice. The new sheriff said he was disappointed and expected the lawmaker to 'be better'  

'We definitely had a conversation about — how do I say it — his tweet and the connotations of it as well, racist connotations,' Appelhans said. 'He was apologetic and we had a conversation about being a politician and making sure you’re representing the people who elected you to office.'

In a separate interview with Casper Star Tribune, the newly appointed sheriff noted that given their respective positions, he and Western might end up crossing paths and even working together going forward. 

'I basically told him I have expectations for him and I’m looking forward to him meeting those expectations and be better,' he said. 

White Wyoming legislator is under fire over 'racist' tweet about the state's first black sheriff after sharing a clip from a movie with a black character asking, 'Where the white women at?' White Wyoming legislator is under fire over 'racist' tweet about the state's first black sheriff after sharing a clip from a movie with a black character asking, 'Where the white women at?' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:32 Rating: 5

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