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Naked Cowboy Should Face Same Rules as Topless Times Sq. Ladies, Pol Says

By Noah Hurowitz | August 28, 2015 4:17pm | Updated on August 31, 2015 8:46am
 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 — An effort to crack down on topless performers in Times Square would be sexist unless it applies broadly to men and women alike, according to Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who spoke out on the subject on Wednesday at an event celebrating Women’s Equality Day, according to a news report.

Maloney, a member of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s taskforce charged with tackling toplessness in Times Square, told the newspaper she would work to come up with a plan that would deal not just with the scantily clad, body-painted “desnudas” but also the down-to-his-skivvies guitarist Robert Burck, who croons for tourists as “The Naked Cowboy.”

“I will certainly be watching to be sure they will be treated the same,” Maloney told the Observer. “The cowboy and the painted women should have the same standard, they should be the same. My message today is equality.”

“I will say the Naked Cowboy and the flag-painted women should be treated the same," she told the Observer. "There should be equal treatment. Whatever the treatment is, they should be treated equally.” 

The typically topless Cowboy, for his part, has recently come out in favor of a ban on topless women in Times Square, donning a bra on Aug. 19 in a show of support against his fellow performers. 

Burck, 44, who has played nearly-nude for the past 16 years, told DNAinfo that while he had no problem with “boobs flapping around,” the desnudas should bow to a popular demand to rerobe, he said.

“If everybody’s pissed about it you should comply,” he said. 

A 1992 court decision struck down state laws that banned women from going topless in public but allowed men to do the same on the grounds that such distinction was discriminatory. Maloney and her fellow taskforce members, who have not yet held a meeting, according to the Observer, are looking into various plans that would not discriminate against women, including developing special panhandling zones or even tearing up the square’s pedestrian plazas, she told the newspaper.

Representatives of the Mayor did not respond to a request for comment. Maloney's DC and New York offices did not immediately respond to request for comment.