The U.S. Coast Guard says it “removed” a member from its Hurricane Florence response team Friday after he made an “OK” hand gesture on live TV that the service branch deemed “offensive.”
The unidentified team member was caught looking into the camera and then swiftly making the hand gesture, prompting a backlash on social media.
The hand signal was seen in the background of MSNBC’s live interview with Sector Charleston Commanding Officer Capt. John Reed, who was providing an update on actions taken by the Coast Guard in response to Hurricane Florence.
Well, that was about as subtle as a train wreck, on a boat.
— Michael Ⓜ️ (@michaelschweitz) September 14, 2018
Many social media users called for the firing of the individual, accusing him of making a so-called “white power” hate symbol.
The agency immediately responded to the outcry and distanced from the controversy.
We are aware of the offensive video on twitter – the Coast Guard has identified the member and removed him from the response. His actions do not reflect those of the United States Coast Guard.
— U.S. Coast Guard (@USCG) September 15, 2018