TIME West Virginia

West Virginia Mayor Resigns Amid Fallout From Michelle Obama ‘Ape in Heels’ Comment

She wrote in a comment that the FLOTUS "ape in heels" post made her day

The mayor of a West Virginia town ensnared in controversy over a Facebook post that called first lady Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” has resigned amid fallout from the racist remark.

Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling was embroiled in backlash after she commented in agreement on the since-deleted post, which was written by Pamela Ramsey Taylor, the director of Clay County Development Corp. “Just made my day Pam,” Whaling wrote.

More than 157,000 people have signed an online petition calling for both their ousters. Taylor, who runs a nonprofit that provides services to elderly and low-income residents in the county, has been put on leave, she told WCHS-TV.

Whaling resigned, effective immediately, according to the Associated Press, which cited Joe Coleman, the town recorder in Clay, West Virginia. Earlier, she issued a public apology in which she maintains she is not a racist person.

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team