When the New York Post wrote about the leaked video of City Council District 6 candidate Zach Weiner being gagged while tied up by a dominatrix – a video which was flagged to the Post by Weiner’s own campaign manager – the 26 year old candidate had no issues owning up to his interest in BDSM.
“I didn’t want anyone to see that, but here we are,” Weiner said in a statement to the Post. “I am not ashamed of the private video circulating of me on Twitter. This was a recreational activity that I did with my friend at the time, for fun. Like many young people, I have grown into a world where some of our most private moments have been documented online.” Weiner went on to say that he’s a “proud BDSMer” who “like[s] BDSM activity.”
— Zack Weiner for the Upper West Side (@ELECTWEINER) June 19, 2021
The vast majority of responses – at least those which are visible and at the top of the thread – are in support of both Weiner’s freedom to engage in consensual and legal activities and his ownership of those hobbies.
Twitter user @GiftBasketofDep wrote that “This has to be the most level-headed response to being the victim of a crime I’ve ever seen. Kudos to you for being honest about it and not being ashamed for engaging in consensual sex. I’ve also heard you refuse to release her name, and that’s excellent. Good on you.”
Others saw it as an opportunity to showcase their best BDSM humor. “Clearly he’s willing and able to serve. He gets my vote!” wrote @JCMac412. “Twitter really took a gamble by trying to hurt a sub with public humiliation,” wrote @grl_fieri.
The non-political headlines about the 26 year old candidate definitely didn’t stymie support from his base.
“Weiner! Weiner! Weiner!” his supporters chanted while hoisting him in the air at his pre-election rally in Verdi Square.
Thank you Upper West Side for making our pre-election rally a success. We will see you at the polls tomorrow
6am – 9pm pic.twitter.com/sMQzYZKG8V
— Zack Weiner for the Upper West Side (@ELECTWEINER) June 22, 2021
In a June 21 follow up by the Post, Weiner explained why his own campaign manager flagged the video in the first place, saying that “he was trying to get ahead of a political rival plotting to use the clip against him,” adding that the video had already started going viral and that a political opponent had criticized his “poor judgement,” without identifying which opponent that was.