Naked controversy

New York City mayor calls for regulation of topless Times Square panhandlers

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Any tourist who’s ever passed through Times Square is probably familiar with the “desnudas,” topless women covered in a lick of body paint who urge people to take a photo with them. Not everyone is a fan, however, and recently the women have been facing harsh criticism for aggressively soliciting tips from tourists who stop to snap pics. According to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, they’re not any different from Times Square’s costumed characters who have often been slammed for their pushy panhandling. At a press conference on Tuesday, he said he believed their tactics were wrong. “We are going to look for every appropriate way to regulate all activity that involves either begging, or asking people for a contribution based on, you know, the opportunity to take a picture, for example,” he said, adding, “I don’t like the situation in Times Square, and we’re going to address it in a very aggressive manner.” While admitting that these women’s freedom of expression is protected under the First Amendment, the mayor was adamant that this would not stop him from trying to pursue “legislative and regulatory solutions” to deal with the problem.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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