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CA: California Lawmaker Banned From Hugging After Investigation


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California state senator has been told to stop hugging people after an investigation concluded that his trademark embraces made multiple female colleagues uncomfortable.

However, the investigation released Thursday found Sen. Bob Hertzberg’s frequent hugs are not intended to be sexual and more often than not are not unwelcome.

Hertzberg, a Democrat from the Los Angeles area, has earned nicknames such as “Hugsberg” and “Huggy Bear” for greeting men and women alike with giant hugs.

The Senate Rules Committee formally reprimanded him on Tuesday and told him not to hug people anymore, but he will not otherwise face discipline.

Hertzberg released a letter apologizing to anyone who felt his frequent embraces were unwelcome. The 63-year-old said he has greeted people with hugs all his life and they were intended as “a gesture of warmth and kindness and a reflection of my exuberance.”

“I understand that I cannot control how a hug is received, and that not everyone has the ability to speak up about unwelcome behavior,” Hertzberg wrote. “It is my responsibility to be mindful of this.”

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Join the discussion

  1. Henry

    The irrationality of this #metoo movement is becoming ridiculous!!

  2. Jack

    Everybody’s turning into autistics with this nonsense. Pretty soon everybody’s gonna be this way and on anti anxiety medication shouting at the wall “Don’t touch me!”


      Just another brick in the wall……✌️

      • 666marked

        yep just a brick in the wall. You touch me!!! You a child molester Don’t Care if I am 30 years old or 20 years old Don’t touch me!! we have our safe zone stay in your own place Me don’t like to be in your hug zone

  3. Tim Moore

    I wouldn’t mind a hug from this guy right now.

  4. Joe123

    Jesus, this country has lost its mind. Whoever these insane women are that have an issue with someone being so warm to them, I hope they feel what it’s like to not feel that warmth at all in their personal lives, maybe they’ll realize how stupid it is what they turned this into.

    • CR

      I’m sure the people in this country have lost their mind, generally, but I’m not sure that this is evidence of it. I have never welcomed uninvited touch from anyone outside of my immediate family members. I would be as uncomfortable as those who complained if someone insisted on hugging me without a clear indication from me of my willingness to tolerate it.

      I think anyone would know that you don’t hug strangers or coworkers or employees without an invitation or a clear indication of their consent. Family members, sure (for the most part, but some of us should consider restraint, if the shoe fits). Coworkers and acquaintances? Never. Has it ever been otherwise?

      • David Kennerly, The Government-Driven LIfe

        Well, there’s France and Italy where the rules governing interaction in the social-but-unrelated physical space are quite different from the U.S. I wouldn’t say that American standards are somehow intrinsic. It’s just what is most familiar to us.

  5. Anonymous

    In general Politicians are Weird and Creepy. Usually two acquaintances go for the hug at the same time or one person will make a slight defensive gesture so the other knows it’s not cool, correct? Better yet, If you really don’t want a hug then make a big defensive gesture and tell the other person No. In general Politicians are Weird and Creepy.

  6. Robin


    Anyone that is this open to give hugs like he does would understand…please don’t it makes me feel uncomfortable…rather than lodging a complaint behind ones back.

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