Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) appearance at the annual Met Gala has already produced some fascinating optics, but video of the progressive Democrat leaving the $35,000-per-seat soiree has now surfaced showing AOC being led out of the event trailed by masked attendants holding her designer dress.
The video, which appeared on social media Wednesday, shows a maskless Ocasio-Cortez and her boyfriend leaving the Met Gala, waving to appreciative fans lining a red carpet leading to a private bus. AOC’s dress, which bears the words “Tax the Rich” across the backside, is being held by a number of assistants who are dressed in black with black face masks.
— sameera khan (@SameeraKhan) September 14, 2021
The image seems to perfectly encapsulate the incident, which now has Ocasio-Cortez performing social media damage control, blasting critics of her decision to attend the ultra-exclusive gala as a “political protest” as “haters” and sexists and suggesting that she was there to send a message to the rest of the wealthy invitees as a member of the “working class.”
“And before haters get wild flying off the handle, New York elected officials are routinely invited to and attend the Met due to our responsibilities in overseeing and supporting the city’s cultural institutions for the public. I was one of several in attendance in this evening,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter after receiving a wave of backlash.
She later claimed that she attended the event to draw attention to who Democrats are really looking to tax: “They want you to think that when we talk about rich, we’re talking about doctor or a lawyer instead of someone with hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions of dollars,” she said on Instagram.
Notably, columnist Megan McArdle pointed out that the Met Gala is one of many events that the ultra-wealthy use to deduct from the amount they owe the government.
“The essence of the Met Gala is that ultra-rich people pay huge sums to meet and be photographed with celebrities…and then deduct their night out from their taxes. Why has no one pointed out that Alexandria Ocasio Cortez wore a ‘tax the rich’ dress *to a tax shelter*?,” McArdle said on Twitter.
Following her appearance on the Met Gala red carpet, reports surfaced that Ocasio-Cortez was gifted her ticket to the event by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, potentially in violation of Congressional ethics rules, though her attendance was hand-approved by Conde Nast legend Anna Wintour. She attended the gala wearing a dress by Aurora James of Brother Vellies whose boyfriend, Benjamin Bronfman, is heir to the Seagrams fortune and worth around $100 million.
James also claims to be a defender of the working class.
“We can never get too comfortable in our seats at the table once they’ve been given,” James said. “We must always continue to push ourselves, push our colleagues, push the culture, and push the country forward. Fashion is changing; America is changing. And as far as this theme goes, I think Alexandria and I are a great embodiment of the language fashion needs to consider adding to the general lexicon as we work towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and empowered future.”