Actor Jeffrey Wright: Pete Buttigieg ‘Stacking Black Folks’ Behind Him at Iowa Rally a ‘F**k You’ to Black America

DES MOINES, IOWA - FEBRUARY 03: Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg addresses supporters during his caucus night watch party on February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa is the first contest in the 2020 presidential nominating process with the candidates then moving on to …
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Actor Jeffrey Wright called out Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg over what actor implied was conspicuously placed black supporters at the presidential candidate’s Iowa caucus rally where he prematurely declared victory.

At the televised event late Monday, Buttigieg was seen speaking in front of rows of supporters. The first row of supporters consisted of six black individuals who occupied the center of the TV screen so that they were the most visible faces behind the candidate.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend., Indiana, has been polling low among black voters and has so far failed to muster much enthusiasm among that demographic.

Jeffrey Wright implied that the sight of six black Buttigieg supporters in Iowa standing behind the candidate was staged.

“Stacking black folks behind your candidate at the speech is basically ‘Fuck you, black America, you’re an idiot.'” Wright said.

“Iowa’s the new black or what going on back there?” the actor added.

A woman named Essenam Lamewona claimed on Twitter to be one of the supporters in the front row at the Buttigieg event. She also claimed that she was asked three times to move away from her friends in order to be place in the picture with the candidate.

“That’s me in the front on the right of Buttigieg! I was asked 3x to move away from my friends in order to be placed in pictures #tokenism,” she wrote on Twitter early Tuesday.

By Tuesday afternoon, her Twitter account had been switched to private.

Keith Boykin, a CNN political commentator, echoed Wright’s skepticism about Buttigieg’s rally.

Franklin Leonard — the Hollywood film executive who created The Black List, an annual survey of the best unproduced screenplays — also voiced skepticism over what he called the “staged” placement of the women at the rally.

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