As New York City officials say they want to move street performers from Times Square on, the areas topless ladies have said they won’t leave.
The topless painted ladies have become a regular sight in the square over the last year, posing for photos with tourists in exchange for tips.
Now city officials have proposed the introduction of designated ‘activity zones’ for street acts, including the topless women and costumed characters, in an attempt to clean up Times Square, the Daily Mail reports.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio recently said:
I would say, as a human being and a parent, I don’t think it’s appropriate in the middle of one of the busiest squares in New York City that women should display themselves that way
City Councilman Corey Johnson is part of the task force that proposed the ‘activity zones’. He said the city must ease pedestrian crowding in the area by setting restrictions, on costumed characters and tourist bus rides, as well as the topless women, adding: “We’re not saying these people can’t be in Times Square, but for congestion and public safety reasons, they would have to be in designated areas”.
But one painted lady, Saira Nicole, 29, said she’d oppose any plans to move them on, saying: “They can’t do anything unless they change the Constitution. You’re not putting a stop to me, period.”
And legal experts have said the issue does concern whether the women’s activities amount to a street performance, which would be protected by the First Amendment, or are in fact a form of commerce that can be regulated, which wouldn’t be protected.