U.S. President Donald Trump, who once bragged that his celebrity status gave him a pass to grab women’s crotches, asked Friday why comedian Samantha Bee wasn’t fired for using a vulgar, sexist term to describe his daughter.
Trump tweeted it was a “total double standard” that TBS hadn’t cancelled Bee’s show, Full Frontal after the comedian said Ivanka Trump was a “feckless c–t” on immigration.
The president appeared to be referring to ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne Barr’s show, a favourite among conservatives, after Barr jokingly compared a former White House aide in the Obama administration who is African-American to an ape.
“Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show?” he tweeted early Friday.
Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show? A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!
“A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!”
It’s the latest salvo in the U.S. culture war that Trump seems to relish. Across social media platforms this week, Americans hotly debated whether Bee — a Toronto-born, dual Canadian-American citizen whose feminist style comedy often criticizes sexism — was justified in using a misogynistic expletive to criticize Ivanka Trump.
Trump supporters noted that the term used by Bee would result in immediate pushback had it been aimed at a female Democratic official, such as Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Spotlight on Ivanka’s White House role
Trump himself has repeatedly drawn fire for his sexist language and sexual boasting. A 2005 Access Hollywood video featured audio of Trump bragging about how he grabs women’s genitals and gets away with it. On the tape, Trump talks about forcing himself on women, kissing them and groping them. Trump eventually apologized for his comments.
The Bee incident also underscored the unprecedented role Ivanka Trump plays at the White House.
While the children of presidents are often shielded from public jokes by comedians because of their age and because they aren’t White House employees, Ivanka Trump has taken an active policy role as an adult in her father’s White House. A close presidential adviser, she has promoted the administration’s tax overhaul and led a U.S. delegation at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Bee apologized to Ivanka Trump and her viewers on Thursday for using the obscenity. Her network, TBS, also said it was “our mistake, too,” in allowing the language on Bee’s show, Full Frontal, on Wednesday.
Barr has separately apologized for her remarks.
‘Steeped in passion’
However, a backlash against Full Frontal, which is taped and not aired live, could still result: Autotrader and State Farm are two companies that are suspending their advertising.
Bee addressed the controversy Thursday night as she and her Full Frontal colleagues accepted an award at the Television Academy Honors in Hollywood for their coverage of the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements, as well as a series that tackled the lack of knowledge about women’s health issues in the medical community.
Every week I strive to show the world as I see it, unfiltered. Sometimes I should probably have a filter. I accept that.– Samantha Bee
“Every week I strive to show the world as I see it, unfiltered. Sometimes I should probably have a filter. I accept that. I take it seriously when I get it right and I do take responsibility when I get it wrong,” Bee, who described her show as “steeped in passion,” told the audience at the awards reception, according to industry media outlet Indiewire.
Indiewire obtained Bee’s speech from a source, after media initially granted access to cover the event were informed by organizers late Thursday afternoon that due to a substantial increase in attendance requests, media would be limited to red carpet access. The Full Frontal representatives did not walk the red carpet.
“Last night, we aired a segment on the atrocious treatment of migrant children by this administration and past administrations. Sometimes even the ones who look best in swim trunks do bad jobs with things,” Bee declared onstage.
“We spent the day wrestling with the repercussions of one bad word, when we all should have spent the day incensed that as a nation we are wrenching children from their parents and treating people legally seeking asylum as criminals.”
She also vowed that “we as a show will never stop shouting [about] the inhumanities of this world from the rooftops and striving to make it a better place. But in a comedy way.”