The fight for D.C. statehood received a high-profile shout-out from Bill Murray this past weekend during a flubbed Miley Cyrus performance in Washington.
Cyrus was performing at the Kennedy Center on Sunday to honor comedian and actor Murray, the latest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.
Here’s how the scene that led to the celebrity-fueled, impromptu push for statehood unfolded, according to The Washington Post’s Peggy McGlone:
After Cyrus messed up the lyrics of “My Way,” cursed a few times and apologized as she finished the number, Murray yelled from his box that he wanted more. The producers decided to repeat the number, much to Murray’s delight. “This is happening right now in Washington, D.C., the 51st state in the union,” he yelled.
Given the context of his remark, it is unclear if Murray actually supports statehood or was making a more esoteric comment on the very uphill battle for the District to achieve statehood — a double nod to the troubles Cyrus faced during her performance.
The famously elusive Murray — who doesn’t have a publicist, manager or assistant — could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Either way, city officials quickly embraced Murray’s mention of the District as the 51st state on Twitter.
— Council of DC (@councilofdc) October 24, 2016
A ballot referendum to split the nation’s capital into a new state for its residents and a smaller, federal district for government buildings and monuments is headed to D.C. voters in November.