A New York state lawmaker is offering a blackface apology after he was caught in photos posing as an African American basketball player at a costumed party.
The lawmaker, Don Hikind, is seen in the photos with a bright orange jersey, a large afro wig, and his face caked in brown makeup.
When the controversy first began to boil, Hikind dismissed any objections to his costume as a bad case of political correctness. However, once the anger began to swell, he has changed his mind.
"Anyone who was offended, I am sorry that they were offended," Hikind told reporters at a news conference, according to CNN. "That was not the intention, and that is really all I can say. I just have to reiterate it was Purim. Purim is when people get dressed up."
But not everyone who works with Hikind accepts his apology. A colleague of his, named Karim Camara, said that Hikind needs to go further than just the first step in making this right.
Camera, who is African America, described the pain of seeing people dress in blackface, saying that it "brings back the memories of African-Americans being reduced to buffoonery just to gain access to the entertainment industry."
It is not yet known if Hikind plans to do anything beyond issuing his apology.