LA Times Editorial Calls Out WeHo Mayor John Duran for His ‘Hypersexual’ Behavior

The Los Angeles Times, one of the nation’s most prominent newspapers, today has published an editorial likening West Hollywood Mayor John Duran’s excuse for his sexual behavior to similar excuses from Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump.

John Duran
John Duran

“It should be clear by now that people can’t justify their inappropriate sexual behavior by claiming that they’re fond of locker-room talk or that they came of age in a bygone era with different mores,” the Times editorial says. “That’s just as true for the LGBTQ community as for any other.

“But apparently that message hasn’t reached West Hollywood Mayor John Duran.”

The editorial notes accusations of sexual misconduct by Duran involving young members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, whose board he chaired until abruptly stepping down yesterday. And it notes that the City of West Hollywood paid $500,000 in 2016 to settle a lawsuit by Duran’s former City Council deputy alleging sexual misconduct. Duran has denied all allegations of misconduct. Independent investigations have not found sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims, however an investigator did report that Duran made inappropriate sexual comments at City Hall.

Duran has said he will not resign as mayor, a move recommended by his four City Council colleagues, and will not resign from the Council, which fellow Councilmember Lindsey Horvath has requested.  He has argued that he deserves “due process” before any such action is demanded. Duran also has defended what he describes as his boorish and sexual comments.

“Sure, not every boorish comment is sexual harassment, and not every unwanted advance is a sexual assault or a cause for termination,” states the Los Angeles Times editorial. “Duran is also right that an allegation is not the same as a guilty verdict. Still, it’s troubling that Duran — who should be a role model in his community — is unwilling to even acknowledge that crude comments and a proclivity for hitting on people could be problematic for a person in his powerful position. It should be obvious by now that hypersexual behavior is out of line in most professional settings — and it’s especially inappropriate for people in power, including elected officials, who have a responsibility to create a culture of respect.”

“There is cultural reckoning underway on sexual behavior, and there’s no LGBTQ exception,” states the Times editorial, citing reactions to behavior by Weinstein and Trump as examples.

  1. I went out on a few dates with John after he and I chatted on Grindr. Yes, he is sexual in his personal life, and in West Hollywood sex is a prominent part of the culture. Take for example dancers at Mickey’s who let other men grope them for money, the 665 storefront, the Andrew Christian storefront, billboards along SMB, The LGBT Center’s “F–k Without Fear” campaign graffitied all over the sidewalks, etc… Similar to places like Utah, where residents have elected US Governor Mitt Romney because he represents their Mormon values, so does West Hollywood by electing someone with a sex-positive attitude who has a record of fighting for LGBT rights. John represents West Hollywood resident’s values.

    On one of our dates, John was direct in telling me his desire to have sex after walking me home one night, but he was never inappropriate, aggressive, or forceful with me in any way – ever. We never ended up having sex, just an enjoyable evening together at Yogurt Stop. However, I find The LA Time’s comparison of John Duran to Harvey Weinstein an innapropriate overstep and in my opinion a cheap attempt to compete with other sensationalist “news” entities.

    The LA Times also mentions the #MeToo Movement, which is an organization that has irresponsibly perpetuated false narratives of the Women’s March and Feminist Extremists that demonize all men (and only men) as being inevitable perpetrators of sexual harassment, physical, sexual, and/ or emotional abuse, rape, and so on against women; their counter narrative is that women should simply be believed for what in some cases could very well be emotionally fabricated “realities.” The #MeToo Movement has set legitimate fights for gender equality way back by making it trendy to report alleged sex crimes. Reporting crime should never be taken lightly or be trending on Twitter (enters Jussie Smollett.)

    John Duran is good for West Hollywood.


  2. He needs to step down, he is a disgrace to the city and to city hall and becoming a nationwide embarrassment. Being on the council and/or mayor does not give you a free pass to tramp around town. It instead should advise him internally to grow up, be a man and be professional! No one made him sign up for PUBLIC office, he chose to, so he should be professional at all times in public.(period)

  3. The Los Angeles Time editorial on Duran along with the endless negative media attention of the past week is not the kind of publicity the citizens of West Hollywood want.

    The endless hemming and hawing of the council members over Duran only makes you question that all of them should go.

    WEHO Duran groupies continue to defend the 59 year old mayor for actions that millennials must cringe at when they see him on Grindr. His so-called gay humor was never sophisticated but something you’d find in one of the sex clubs or baths that closed in the 1980s because of the AIDS epidemic.

    If John Duran fails to resign from the city council and wants the voters to decide in 2020, like candidate Duke Mason suggests, he will continue to be the elephant in the room.

    A problem that will grow bigger and bigger and bigger.

  4. Ffs.

    Did the mayor use his power to sexually harass an individual, was he offering or implying that the person he was approaching would benefit from submitting to his insinuations?

    He did not attack anyone, he did not force himself on anyone… he was attempting to be seductive, was instead smarmy and inappropriate.

    He doesn’t deserve to be taken off of City Counsel or step down, he deserves to be smacked in the head with a rolled up newspaper and told sternly, “No! Bad!”. And he will stop.

    Instead he can go back and focus on the good things he does. (But no more hotels! BAD!)

    Can we move on please? The amount of attacks that WeHoville has launched under the name “staff” is so ridiculous at this point. Just looks like a petty or jilted bf begging their friends for popularity at this point. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s article “and you know what else he did??!”

    1. Assuming that is all he did, I don’t think he is intent on stopping anything, as he seems to justify his behavior based on separate rules that think apply to gay men. No matter how unprofessional. I understand where he’s coming from, a bit, only because I’ve worked in environments with other gay men. But I wasn’t in a position of power, and the type of things we talked about, I’d never do w/anyone had not already got to know, or to anyone who I thought was made to feel uncomfortable. The same cannot be said to him, and I believe he will continue to fly forward with no barometer as to what is appropriate, or as to what might make someone uncomfortable (until they later tell him his language did).

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