Celebrities are reacting after Donald Trump responded to the violence in Charlottesville. See stars’ reaction tweets below.
As Gossip Cop reported, a white nationalist protest at UVA and an alt-right rally Charlottesville on Friday and Saturday descended into violence as neo-Nazis and white supremacists clashed with counter-protestors. The situation was sparked on Friday night, when dozens of white men marched across the University of Virginia campus with lit torches, chanting about “white pride” and “white lives matter.” On Saturday, more came out for the “Unite The Right” gathering, where more racist propaganda was spewed and people were attacked.
As these events unfolded, the White House and the Trump administration stayed silent until 12:36 p.m. Eastern Time, when First Lady Melania Trump tweeted, “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville.” Both before and after, the president was called out by celebrities on social media for not commenting.
Then, at 1:19 p.m., he finally posted, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” He later added, “Am in Bedminster for meetings & press conference on V.A. & all that we have done, and are doing, to make it better-but Charlottesville sad!” But that didn’t stop the criticism. Sarah Silverman, for instance, replied, “This is on-purpose vague bc ur a wimp that stands 4 nothing & ur ignorant arrogance & total lack of impulse control is gonna get us killed.”
Don Cheadle sarcastically wrote back, “Oh, good morning, mr. sleepy head! Sleep well? Good. Glad you got this tweet off before your tee time. Remember; left arm straight.” Rob Delaney said, “Miller written, Bannon approved. David Duke reads, approximates human smile despite multiple facelifts.” Duke, a Holocaust denier, was actually at the rally, where he told reporters that the event was being held to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” and “to take our country back.”
Tom Arnold told Trump, “You call out Islamic Extremists by name so put on your big boy panties and call these asshats by name. #Nazi #WhiteSupremacists #UnAmerican.” Ed Helms wrote, “Vague, milquetoast drivel. What kind of coward is afraid to call out white supremacy by name? Sad.” Emmy Rossum replied, “Who exactly are you condemning? Call it what it is. Nazi. KKK.” And, noting that a car struck a group of counter-protesters, Josh Gad commented, “Our country is in a very dark place and our leadership is playing coy.” He later added, “Trump’s unwillingness to call white supremacy what it is after 6 months speaks volumes. This isn’t a dog whistle. It’s a bullhorn.”
When Joy Reid expressed shock that Trump merely called the situation “sad,” Judd Apatow said, “He is a puppet. An uncontrollable moronic puppet his masters can partly control. I hope we survive this awful mistake. Register2vote.” Zach Braff also pretended to be Trump, writing, “I’m playing golf, but this is annoying. I’ll tweet something useless later.” Patton Oswalt mocked, “‘The Confederacy, yuck!’ — Lincoln. ‘Auschwitz, two thumbs down!’ — Truman. ‘Birmingham, super not cool!’ — LBJ.”
He also wrote back to the president, “‘Charlottesville’ isn’t sad. ‘Charlottesville’ is fine. It’s the Nazis IN Charlottesville that are sad. And evil. You drip.” George Takei also told Trump, “Donnie, denouncing white nationalists now after encouraging them throughout your campaign? You’re days late and as usual many dollars short.” And Lady Gaga asked him, “Too afraid to do the right thing cuz you will lose votes? Doesn’t matter, younger generation has the answer to #BeKind.”
At approximately 3:35 p.m., Trump held a press conference, where he delivered prepared remarks. While condemning the “egregious display of violence,” he also said it’s occurring “on many sides” and not a result of his presidency. He again called the situation “sad,” and insisted that the country is actually doing well. His strongest statement was arguably when he said, “No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first.” He did not refer to domestic terrorism at all, prompting Olivia Munn to exclaim in the wake of the deadly car crash, “What the f*ck… No matter what Trump says or doesn’t say this is a hate crime and domestic terrorism.”
In response to Trump putting the blame on “many sides,” Oswalt tweeted, “‘The people protesting the Nazis are just as bad as the Nazis.’ — what President Donald J. Trump basically just said.” Takei noted, “When terrorists abroad plow cars into crowds Trump condemns ‘radical Islam.’ But when it happens here, he talks of violence ‘on many sides.’” Albert Brooks posted, “Trump condemns violence on ‘many sides.’ Right. The rock they threw at the Klan was truly horrible.” Chris Evans exclaimed, “MANY SIDES?!? I’ve typed and deleted at least 8 tweets. Words simply aren’t strong enough to accurately describe how I feel about Donald Trump.”
“CALL IT WHAT IT IS. IT. IS. TERRORISM,” demanded Zendaya. Tom Arnold pointedly said it’s “White Nationalist Terrorism but like with Putin @potus will never disavow them by name because he’s loyal to those who got him elected.” Kumail Nanjiani told followers, “‘On many sides.’Never forget that phrase. Three words that protected violent bigotry.” Ava DuVernay wrote, “‘On many sides.’ My God. Blessings to those who were/are on the wrong side of the whip, rope, gavel, badge, ballot.” Nick Cannon responded to Trump, “oh now you wanna be vague?? #Manysides is one of the worst responses to clear racism in the 21st century by a President.” And Billy Eichner asked, “Ok but really now when do they impeach?”