Fact Check

City in Louisiana Makes ‘Twerking’ Illegal

Has the town of DeQuincy, Louisiana, made twerking illegal?

Published Sep 18, 2013

Claim:   The town of DeQuincy, Louisiana, has made twerking illegal.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2013]

Is this true?

The dance craze twerking has become such a problem in the small town of DeQuincy, Louisiana that city officials have made it illegal.


Origins:   On 17 September 2013, the PRLog press release distribution site issued an article claiming the town of DeQuincy, Louisiana, had made twerking illegal, with offenders to be punished by a mandatory sentence of 30 days in the county jail:

Maynard Wilkens who is the Mayor of DeQuincy spoke to CNN about the ban on twerking that takes effect at midnight. "Twerking is a defiant act against Jesus and his teachings. The rest of the country can keep their heads in the sand about this sexual act before marriage, but not the great city of DeQuincy," Wilkens said. "We will still allow dancing in DeQuincy, just no jigglin', shakin' and 'dry humping' anywhere in our city limits."

Bobby Joe Williams who is the sheriff in the town told reporters about the penalties for those caught twerking. "First time offenders will receive a mandatory 30 days in the county jail. After that it will be a much harsher punishment," Williams said. "We are taking this matter serious. They’re ain't gonna be no twerkin' in my city, not no more."

The item was easily identifiable as a fictional spoof: neither CNN nor any other news outlet had reported such a story, the names given for the DeQuincy mayor and sheriff (Maynard Wilkens and Bobby Joe Williams) don't match those of real city officials or law enforcement in that town, and the state of Louisiana has parishes (and parish jails), not counties (and county jails).

As the New Orleans Times-Picayune noted, the town of DeQuincy has been the subject of multiple similar spoofs in recent days:

For being such a small town, DeQuincy sure does seem to attract a lot of attention. The Louisiana town of less than 4,000 people has been at the tail end of three false press releases this year, the most recent of which [claimed] the town's mayor had banned twerking.

"It's a bunch of hogwash," said DeQuincy Mayor Lawrence Henagan. "There's

nothing to it."

Earlier this year, a press release landed online that claimed the town had banned Koreans from living there, and last month a release claimed all DeQuincy students would be issued guns in school.

Each time, Henagan said his office has received phone calls requesting comment on the controversial — but fake — ordinances.

"Somebody keeps this mess going on," Henagan said. "Like I told the first lady (who called today), I didn't even know what she was talking about. Twerking, whatever it's called, she had to tell me what it is."

Henagan said he believes the person behind the fake press releases is probably the same each time because they keep using similar false names.

"We'd like people to get to know about DeQuincy. It's a great town," Henagan said. "But let's do it in a positive way.

Last updated:   17 September 2013


    Brasted, Chelsea.   "Town of DeQuincy Attracts Attention Via False Press Releases."

    The [New Orleans] Times-Picayune.   17 September 2013.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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