Facebook post by Greg Tramontin

Facebook post by Greg Tramontin

The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus demanded a public apology Wednesday from an insurance executive who used slang to refer to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as a prostitute in a social media post. 

The legislators insinuated that people should stop doing business with his company.

GoAuto LLC founder and chief executive Greg Tramontin, recognizable in the Baton Rouge company’s ubiquitous television commercials, did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday afternoon. His office said he was "out of town" but she would forward The Advocate | The Times-Picayune request.

Two hours after the Caucus' demand, Tramontin apologized, attributing the post to getting too wrapped up in political polarization.

Tramontin said he posted the comment about Harris "in jest" but now questions why he wanted to make an inappropriate expression.

"I have to be honest that i was caught up in the deep political divide and the toxic rhetoric that this country has been living in for the past several years," Tramontin wrote in a statement. "My words were hurtful. I sincerely apologize. This is my wakeup call." 

A screenshot from Tramontin’s Facebook page – circulated by Baton Rouge activist Gary Chambers on Wednesday – quotes the insurance executive as supporting President Donald Trump and saying the country “doesn’t need this, unlike power hungry Joe and the hoe!” 

“If this is the level of respect he shows to African American women,” the Black Caucus wrote, “our thought is that everyone of great conscience, all people of color, specifically women, should look at this company and decide whether they are being respected.”

The statement by Caucus Chair, Sen. Jimmy Harris III, D-New Orleans, and, Vice Chair Barbara Carpenter, D-Baton Rouge, called the disparagement of Harris, the first woman and first Black elected as vice president, “is unacceptable, inexcusable and appalling.”

Tramontin closed his Facebook account.

Email Mark Ballard at mballard@theadvocate.com.