A video showing Gov. Andrew Cuomo challenging a female journalist to “eat the whole sausage” in front of him at the 2016 New York State Fair has resurfaced on social media — amid allegations the governor sexually harassed former staffers.
“I want to see you eat the whole sausage,” the Democratic governor is heard telling then-NewsChannel 9 reporter Beth Cefalu, as his daughter Michaela sits quietly next to him, according to the video shared by journalist Matt Binder.
“I don’t know if I should eat the whole sausage in front of you, but I’m definitely going to eat it,” responds Cefalu, now a reporter and anchor at News 12 Westchester.
Cuomo then invites Cefalu — who snaps a selfie with him while holding up her plate — to sit at his table.
“There’s too much sausage in that picture,” Cuomo says in the cringeworthy exchange, prompting laughter from other diners.
Users quickly slammed Cuomo for his “creepy” and “cringey” interaction with the woman in light of the recent sexual harassment allegations.
“It’s almost like he’s sexually harassing her in front of everybody and they’re just okay with it, probably because they’re used to it,” one user said.
“His daughter looks so uncomfortable! Ew!!!” another user wrote.
A third said: “When creepy met cringe.”
However, not everyone thought the governor was out of line — arguing that the clip didn’t cut the mustard as evidence of harassment.
“How could you possibly read into that when Andrew Cuomo is introducing his daughter Michaela Cuomo there?” one user asked.
“She was standing there awkwardly taping him while he was trying to eat. Is it possible that he was passive-aggressively showing her how much it sucks to be videotaped while eating?” another said.
“It’s not like he sat there gawking at her while she ate it or making perverted jokes,” the Twitter user added.
And a third wrote: “I dislike this dude as much as anyone but it’s nonsense like this getting mixed up with actual allegations that water down the whole thing.
“He’s eating a hot dog, he’s obviously not that happy about being recorded scarfing one down and then asks her to eat one, she says yes.”
The reporter herself then jumped to Gov. Cuomo’s defense Monday morning, as the video went viral.
“I was not pressured/harassed this is two people enjoying the one event – the NYS fair – that gives them a little more freedom to be informal,” Cefalu tweeted.
“It’s really sad it’s being turned into anything more.”
The footage resurfaced on the day Cuomo tried to explain away allegations of sexual harassment as “jokes” that were misinterpreted as “unwanted flirtation.”
“At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way,” Cuomo said in a prepared statement.
It came one day after former Cuomo staffer Charlotte Bennett, 25, alleged to the New York Times that the governor made a series of inappropriate remarks that left her convinced he “wanted to sleep with” her.
That claim, in turn, came less than a week after another former staffer, Lindsey Boylan, expanded on accusations she first revealed in December 2020, alleging that Cuomo kissed her on the lips without warning.
Meanwhile, Cuomo agreed to let state Attorney General Letitia James appoint an outside investigator into the growing scandal.