Andrew Cuomo Decries Cancel Culture In Recent Church Appearance

Former New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has been trying to work his way back into the spotlight — this time by giving a speech at a church. Cuomo resigned in 2021 after multiple women came forward with allegations that he had sexually harassed or behaved inappropriately with them. At the time of the allegations, everyone — including New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand — was "demanding" his resignation, per Vanity Fair. Cuomo shot back, saying his resignation would be "reckless and dangerous" and claiming that Schumer and Gillibrand, among other Democrats, wanted him to "bow to cancel culture."

Cancel culture has a few different definitions. Vox explains that "canceling began as a tool for marginalized communities to assert their values against public figures who retained power and authority even after committing wrongdoing." What people have been looking for is a "form of meaningful accountability for public figures who are typically answerable to no one," per the outlet. If those in power aren't going to hold their peers accountable for terrible actions, the people are going to.

But self-declared victims of cancel culture, like Cuomo, define the movement as something different. Erica Vladimer, co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, explained to the New York Post that "cancel culture is a term people who don't believe in accountability use to advise their own narrative." As Vanity Fair puts it, cancel culture to those people "is a process in which mostly decent people are fired from their jobs or shamed into quitting because they have failed to meet impossibly high standards of progressive sensitivity."

This is the reason Andrew Cuomo thinks Democrats turned against him

Andrew Cuomo delivered the following message in a half-hour-long scathing sermon at God's Battalion of Prayer Church, a Black congregation in Brooklyn, according to The New York Times. "I resigned as governor," Cuomo said as he explained how painful the last few months were to him, per The Hill. "The press roasted me, my colleagues were ridiculed, my brother was fired, it was ugly." He even admitted he was glad his father, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, wasn't around to see the downfall of his son, the New York Post reported.

According to Cuomo, his actions were the result of a quickly changing social norm, and how he didn't see a need to change his behavior towards women at any point during his time in politics, per the Post. "No one ever told me I made them feel uncomfortable and I never sensed that I caused any discomfort to anyone," he explained, seemingly unaware of the power a boss holds over their subordinate.

Three known accusations came directly from aides: one who claims he forcibly kissed her, another who says the former governor groped her after asking for help with his phone, per Vanity Fair. Cuomo often points to the fact that he was never charged after the allegations were brought forward as proof of his innocence, which he brought up during his speech. What he failed to mention, however, was that prosecutors found "the women credible, but concluded there were insufficient legal grounds to bring criminal charges," the NYT reported.

Andrew Cuomo blames cancel culture for his resignation

These women are believed to be telling the truth, but because there is a lack of physical evidence to prove their cases, no charges against Andrew Cuomo were brought forward. "Multiple independent investigations found his victims to be credible," New York State Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement after Cuomo's Sunday speech, per the New York Post. "Cuomo continues to blame everyone but himself. Cuomo wasn't railroaded; he quit so he wouldn't be impeached. New Yorkers are ready to move forward from this sick, pathetic man."

Cancel culture is what Cuomo lays the most blame on for his downfall. "With cancel culture, we now live in a frightening new world where any accusation can trigger condemnation without facts, without due process," Cuomo told the congregation (via The Hill). "Social media and Twitter spread cancel culture like a virus. They allow the extreme minority to overpower the reasonable majority."

But Cuomo claims to be "vindicated" by the "court of public opinion" in the months since he resigned. This leaves more room for speculation around when and what office he will be running for, especially in light of his new TV ad that "displays snippets from TV reports about recent decisions by five district attorneys to not bring criminal charges against him, while taking aim at the AG probe," the Post reports. According to The New York Times, however, "80 percent of New Yorkers" felt he should have resigned, while former allies say they do not see a role for him in public life.