Officials in DeQuincy, Louisiana have been twerking hard this week to debunk a prank press release announcing a city ban on the dance craze recently popularized by Miley Cyrus at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
“It’s a bunch of hogwash,” DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan told NOLA.com. The announcement, reportedly circulated by press release distribution site PRLog, included fake names for DeQuincy’s mayor and sheriff and condemned twerking as a ”defiant act against Jesus and his teachings.” Those who broke the law would be sentenced 30 days in county jail, E! Online reported.
The joke is the third time that the city near the Texas border has been the subject of fake news, including faux city initiatives banning Korean residents and giving guns to students. Mayor Henagan told NOLA.com that he thinks one prankster is behind these DeQuincy jokes because all of the releases used the same fake names for city officials.
Updated at 4:30 p.m.: Turns out the fake news was generated by Paul Horner, a 34-year-old humorist from Phoenix, Arizona. The media startup Vocativ just published an interview with the jokester, who said he targets DeQuincy because his friend lives there and hates it. Turns out the city’s residents don’t find Horner’s satire funny and have sent him death threats.
For a look back at other controversial dance moves — from the tango to the twist — watch this TIME.com video on “forbidden” dances: