Hollywood embraces political violence without repercussions
Celebrities have spent the last four years doing just what they accuse the president of doing — inciting violence on, and off, social media — with almost no repercussions.
Hollywood erupted in near-universal glee over the weekend as President Donald Trump got deplatformed from social media for allegedly inciting violence.
Sacha Baron Cohen cried, "we did it," while actress Amber Tamblyn said that "we need to go further" after Twitter and Facebook removed Trump from their networks.
Stars begged for such a move long before the recent Capitol riots that some blamed on the president aggressively contesting the election.
Yet celebrities have spent the last four years doing just what they accuse the president of doing — inciting violence on, and off, social media — with almost no repercussions.
At the Women's March right after the Trump inauguration in 2017, Madonna told a throng of anti-Trump protesters that she dreamed of blowing up the White House — presumably with the president inside.
Comic Kathy Griffin endured the most professional blowback after sharing an image of her holding a bloody Trump head high like an ISIS torture video. She lost gigs, gave a strained apology which she quickly walked back, and had the Secret Service come calling.
Yet she remains on social media and recently shared that grisly image anew without consequences. She currently has 2.1 million Twitter followers.
Her celebrity peers followed her lead, meeting little to no cultural or professional resistance as a result.
Snoop Dogg created "Lavender," a music video in which a Trump-like figure is shot. Johnny Depp hearkened back to President Lincoln's assassination at the hands of actor John Wilkes Boothe and wondered if it was time for another actor to take out another president.
Larry Wilmore, host of the short-lived "The Nightly Show," envisioned the president being snuffed out by a pillow on Comedy Central.
Charlie Sheen commemorated the death of singer George Michael on Twitter by pleading over and again for President Trump to be the next one to die.
Director Joss Whedon, recently investigated for mistreating his cast while making "Justice League," implored the president on Twitter: "Die, Don. Just quietly die."
Grunge rockers Pearl Jam created a poster featuring President Trump's dead body being pecked at by birds.
Actress Ellen Barkin shared a Tweet saying Trump "should be removed … and not just from office."
Barbra Streisand shared a political cartoon with Nancy Pelosi's long, sharp stiletto heel skewering President Trump's dead body.
Rapper Bow Wow threatened to "pimp out" First Lady Melania Trump.
Actress Debra Messing of "Will & Grace" fame tweeted her wish for the president to be sexually assaulted in prison. She later doubled down on the sentiment.
"Rape is an act of violence,” she wrote. "Trump has perpetrated violence on hundreds of millions of people. My hope is (and this is the first time in my life) that the tables are turned and he is the victim of perpetrators."
Hollywood's incitement to violence doesn't stop at President Trump, though. Bette Midler tweeted we should be "grateful" for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's neighbor who physically assaulted the Republican, breaking several ribs and damaging part of a lung, which was later removed.
She also tweeted, "Where's Rand Paul's neighbor when we need him?"
More recently, Emmy winner Alec Baldwin turned his infamous ire against Sen. Ted Cruz, saying he should be doused with horse urine before being tarred and feathered.
Hollywood stars raged against the Trump supporters who swarmed the Capitol earlier this month, forcing a delay in the certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory and leaving five people dead.
Yet months earlier, some stars praised violent riots, cheering on those fighting for "social justice" in the wake of George Floyd's death.
"I hope this keeps up till trump flys away in a f***ing helicopter- it's time -people should NOT swallow another moment of fascism … Fight till he's gone," [John] Cusack tweeted, a message shared by "Babe" actor James Cromwell.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore said we should "demolish" the Minneapolis police station to make amends for racial injustices.
Others either supporting the riots or defending them included "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah, Whedon and rapper/actor Ice Cube
A gaggle of celebrities, including Seth Rogen, Steve Carell and Janelle Monae, cut checks for the Minnesota Freedom Fund in the wake of the Twin City riots. The nonprofit helps low-income citizens pay bail, an issue that flared up from the region's violent, protracted protests.
This reporter asked eight of those stars if they worried their money would go toward springing violent offenders, which, as a Fox affiliate later certified, it eventually did. All eight refused to answer the question.
President-elect Biden has called for unity in recent weeks following the bruising aftermath of the 2020 election. Comic actor David Cross of "Arrested Development" fame discounted Biden's wish, saying, "F--- that. I want blood."
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- "we did it,"
- blowing up the White House
- for another actor to take out another president.
- snuffed out by a pillow
- heel skewering President Trump's dead body.
- doubled down on the sentiment
- grateful" for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's neighbor
- Where's Rand Paul's neighbor when we need him
- horse urine
- cheering on those fighting for "social justice"
- eight of those stars
- "F--- that. I want blood."