MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Controversy is brewing over what some are calling misogynistic and inappropriate comments made by former TV judge Joe Brown during a campaign forum for the 2023 Memphis mayoral race.

Brown, who attended a forum Thursday night hosted by the Shelby County Young Democrats along with fellow candidates, former Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner and Downtown Memphis Commission President Paul Young, said there are certain things men can do that make them a better fit to lead the city of Memphis.

“Sorry, but some things men do real well. I don’t want to get crude about it but some places you need to go exercise leadership, some of the good ladies in here would get drug into an abandoned apartment and raped,” Brown said during the exchange.

Watch video of Joe Brown’s response to the question

His comment, which elicited gasps and confusion from some in the audience, came in response to a question posed by Amber Sherman, president of the Young Democrats, to Brown,

“I asked them, as a city of majority women and majority people Black people, what makes them feel in this moment, they should run for mayor instead of uplifting a Black woman to run,” Sherman said.

What makes it worse, Sherman said, is that Brown doubled down on his words.

“I said it was a very misogynistic answer and he said, ‘It’s ok if you didn’t want to hear it,'” Sherman said.

She posted a snippet online and it now has over 18,000 views.

“Oh I was disgusted,” Sherman said. “I don’t need a man’s approval or someone to protect me from what could possibly happen to me. Men get raped too. It’s not just subject to only women.”

Memphis-Shelby County Schools Board Chair Michelle McKissack currently is considering a mayoral run. We asked her about Brown’s comments.

“Honestly I was shocked and appalled,” she said.

McKissack says it’s time for the culture to change.

“We have a female police chief. Women are leading at the top levels, and I certainly don’t need anyone, the likes of Joe Brown or anyone else, telling me where I can go, what I can do and what I have the ability to accomplish,” McKissack said.

We reached out to Brown but have yet to hear back. He has, however, been vocal on social media, tweeting that the video is out of context.

It’s not the first time Brown has stirred controversy with his comments.

In 2014, while running for the office of Shelby County District Attorney, Brown was jailed for contempt of court after questioning the authority of a Juvenile Court judge as he represented a woman in a case. He also questioned his opponent’s sexual orientation during that race. In 2019 he made waves in 2019 with comments about abolitionist Harriet Tubman.