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Naked Cowboy Wears Bra to Support Rules on Topless Women in Times Square

By Gwynne Hogan | August 19, 2015 3:25pm
 Naked Cowboy Robert Burck wore a bra on Wednesday weighing in on the push to regulate topless performers in Times Square.
Naked Cowboy Robert Burck wore a bra on Wednesday weighing in on the push to regulate topless performers in Times Square.
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DNAinfo/Gwynne Hogan

TIMES SQUARE — The Naked Cowboy came out for his usual strut of Times Square on Wednesday, but this time, he was a little more modest.

Robert Burck, 44, who has performed in Time Square as the Naked Cowboy for 16 years, was wearing a bra, or manzier.

“I just put a bra on, what’s the big deal?” Burck said.

The change in his skimpy uniform comes in the midst of a push from city and state politicians to regulate the painted, topless women who work in Times Square.

Burck said he supports restrictions on the ladies.

“If everybody is pissed about it you should comply,” he said. “I don’t care if they got their boobs flapping around [and] you may have a legal right to do it…[but] it’s about Times Square.”

“This place has been here for a million years and it’ll always be here,” he said.

On Tuesday Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he wanted to start to regulate topless women in Times Square and Governor Andrew Cuomo piggybacked on De Blasio’s sentiment calling the situation “illegal” and “serious,” in an interview on NY1 on Wednesday morning.

"I was around for the bad old Times Square and this is starting to remind me of the bad old Times Square," Cuomo told NY1.

But critics of the measure were quick to point out that there was nothing illegal about topless women in Times Square and regulations on them would involve amending the New York State Constitution.

Ron Kuby, an attorney who's defended many civil and criminal cases involving public nudity, said that begging for money is legal and that women are allowed to be topless any place that a man can. 

"You take two bare breasts, add the request for money which is legal, and you end up with legal behavior," he said. "Two boobs, one beg, equals lawful."

"How do we get our hands around the problem? Simple solution, wait for winter," Kuby said.  

Several Times Square business said they'd seen an increase in topless women working the square in the past year and supported legislators' push to regulate them. 

“This area should [have] more class because…families come around here and there are kids,” said the owner of Gifts and Luggage at 46th Street and Broadway, who declined to give his last name.

But another shopkeeper who also supported restrictions on topless women admitted that people come to Times Square for just this type of thing.

“This is New York City, there has to be something exciting for foreigners,” Vijay Patel, 45, who owns a diamond store on 47th Street.

The Times Square Alliance did not respond to immediate attempts for comment.

Others took to social media to point out the hypocrisy of trying to regulate women and not men in Times Square.