New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell landed in hot water Sunday after a video of her making an obscene gesture while at a Mardi Gras parade circulated online. The incident occurred during the Krewe of Tucks Parade which rolled down Uptown NOLA around 1 p.m. ET.

Cantrell was viewing the parade from the stands at the Gallier Hall where she was filmed flipping the middle finger while engaged in banter with people on the float. As seen in the video, Cantrell was heard telling them, "I love you. God bless you. I'll see you. Happy Mardi Gras. Enjoy your ride. So glad your ride was good." She then uttered a loud, "love you" directed toward people on the float, after which she raised her middle finger toward the riders, KPLC reported.

The clip appears to have been recorded by someone on the float. It was posted on Instagram page. The post didn't mention the before and after circumstances of the video. "I do not know what preceding events occurred to make her do that, but Damm. This video was sent anonymously," the caption read.

Cantrell's Director of Communications since 2022, Gregory Joseph, issued a statement Sunday night, in light of the video's virality. He wrote, "Mardi Gras is a time where satire and jest are on full display. The City has been enjoying a safe and healthy Carnival and is looking forward to continuing the celebration on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras."

While Joseph tried to pass off Cantrell's gesture as a playful joke, detractors of the re-elected NOLA mayor called her behavior embarrassing and pushed harder for the recall campaign running in the city.

According to, only 1029 more hand-signed petitions are needed, and if validated, a months-long election campaign will be initiated, after which a yes-or-no-campaign will determine if she stays in office. The recall campaign will have to collect 49,976 signatures to be validated by their Feb. 21 deadline.

"@mayorcantrell you are supposed to call the mayor. This is unacceptable. You were in the Gallier Hall reviewing stand, not the hood. You are unprofessional and an embarrassment to the city. #nola #latoyacantrell #mardigras," a tweet read.

"Mayor LaToya Cantrell flips the finger at float riders; uses the 'Love You, Peace be with you' language that she's been prone to disingenuously exploit when she manipulatively, viciously and cynically wants its effect. Recall this nasty broken creature of local political culture," tweeted another.

While it's unclear what prompted Cantrell's gesture, a person who claimed to be present during the incident said it was due to the float riders' decision to not acknowledge her. "I'll give a little context here lol: I was there in those stands right behind her. The floats pass Gallier Hall and MANY turn their backs. She responds with snark and…that Can't blame the float riders at all. Show disapproval when it's due." This claim is unverified until a video from the stands showing the before and after circumstances, of this interaction, is circulated online.

Bruce Tedford, a New Orleans resident, adjusts his ladder chair before a parade during Carnival celebrations in advance of Mardi Gras, in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., February 27, 2022. Picture taken February 27, 2022.
Representation Image Reuters / JON CHERRY