San Antonio Fire Chief under review after posing with a nude woman covered in SUSHI at a firefighter’s birthday party that he called a a ‘family event’
- Fire Chief Charles Hood was pictured with a nude woman covered in sushi this year in San Antonio, Texas
- Hood has since defended his actions, but still offered an apology to anyone who may have been offended
- The photo was taken in January during a local firefighter’s birthday party
- The San Antonio City Attorney has been directed to review Hood and the photo
- Body sushi, or nyotaimori, is the Japanese practice of serving sushi or sashimi from a woman’s naked body
The San Antonio Fire Chief is under review after a photo showed him posing with a nude woman covered with sushi at a firefighter’s birthday party.
The photo was first published by the San Antonio Express-News on Thursday, prompting Chief Charles Hood to issue an apology the next day.
‘I attended a firefighter’s 50th birthday party in January,’ he said a statement.
‘This photo was taken at the front entrance to the party. I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone, and if I did, I sincerely apologize.’
Photos showed Hood kneeling next to a flower adorned table, where an unclothed woman laid with pieces of sushi on her body.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood (righg) posed near a nude woman covered in sushi at a fellow firefighter’s birthday party
Hood, who was promoted to fire chief in 2017, told Express-News that the photos were snapped at ‘more or less a family event.’
‘You walk in the front door and there’s a sushi lady there that I guess is a business, so I stopped and posed and take a picture. That’s it,’ he told the publication.
‘It would be like me taking a picture with a flamenco dancer in Vegas or a Spurs dancer at Top Golf where the Spurs dancers happen to be there.’
It happened as friends gathered at the Canyon Lake home of Shody Henshaw, a firefighter who has battled colon cancer for years.
Henshaw defended Hood and maintained that his birthday festivity was ‘a beautiful, classy party.’
He added that none of the guests ate sushi off the woman’s body. Instead, a kimono-wearing server handed out sushi nearby and barred anyone from touching the woman.
Charles Hood (pictured): ‘This photo was taken at the front entrance to the party. I certainly didn’t intend to offend anyone, and if I did, I sincerely apologize’
‘They were trying to honor the Japanese culture,’ he told Express-News
Body sushi, or nyotaimori, is the Japanese practice of serving sushi or sashimi from a woman’s naked body. Its exact origins are unclear, but the Express-Now reports it could trace back to the pre-modern samurai era.
But recently, the practice has been scrutinized for objectifying women and being outdated.
City Manager Erik Walsh responded to the photos on Thursday by saying he ‘will certainly be looking into it.’
The San Antonio City Attorney was asked to review the photo and Hood’s conduct
‘We all have to be aware that our actions outside of the workplace — good, bad or otherwise — reflect on the organization we represent.’
On Friday, Walsh revealed that that an investigation has been launched into the incident.
‘I have directed the City Attorney to conduct an independent review of all the facts and circumstances involving the photograph and the event,” Walsh said, per Fox 29.
‘This is a serious issue and I’ll take whatever action is warranted. We all have to be aware that our actions outside of the workplace – good, bad or otherwise – reflect on our entire organization,’ he added.
As noted by Express-News, Hood has disciplined several firefighters since his appointment to chief.
In one instance, he dismissed firefighter Lauren Bienek for sharing a photo of someone questioning if it’s legal to run over pedestrians who are in the road.
Lt. Darla Parson of the SAFD’s Fire Marshal’s Office was also fired after she became extremely loud and hostile’ when her purse was reportedly stolen at a movie theater.