A Barron Trump tweet has gotten a Saturday Night Live writer in hot water, after she suggested that Donald Trump’s son will be the “first homeschool shooter,” The Washington Post is reporting.
SNL writer Katie Rich, who has been with the show since 2013, has been suspended indefinitely following her tweet. Last Friday afternoon, Rich tweeted the offensive statement. It has since been deleted, but as in all things internet, somebody captured evidence of the tweet before Rich could remove it.
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 24, 2017
Almost immediately, the backlash began. Rich received the expected barrage of angry tweets, but the response went even further than Twitter. Soon, an online petition was started on Change.org, demanding Rich be fired. As of this writing, the petition has garnered just under 114,000 signatures.
“Barron Trump is a 10-year-old boy and Donald Trump’s youngest child with wife, Melania Trump. He attends the Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in Manhattan. He is fluent in English and Slovene. Melania throughout the Trump campaign has said she wanted to keep Barron out of the public eye and as such Barron made a total of three appearances on his father’s campaign trail.”
The backlash ultimately caught up with the Saturday Night Live writer: by Monday, an unnamed source familiar with the situation confirmed that Rich had been suspended indefinitely from the show.
Katie Rich of ‘S.N.L.’ Is Suspended for Tweet Mocking Barron Trump https://t.co/YwZbkiAO30
— Eliza Calzadilla (@bemused2016) January 24, 2017
Also, Rich has herself apologized for her tweet about Barron Trump. For a period, her entire Twitter account had been deleted, but she has since restored it. As of this writing, her entire Twitter account consists of a single tweet.
I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.
— Katie Rich (@katiemaryrich) January 23, 2017
Rich, who previously worked as a stand-up comedian, has been with Saturday Night Live since 2013, when she was hired to work on the “Weekend Update” news segment.
As the Post points out, Saturday Night Live and Donald Trump have had a relationship that can most charitably be described as “complicated.” Although Trump has appeared on the show a few times throughout his TV career, including an appearance during the campaign. However, SNL has also mercilessly skewered Trump, to the point that Trump has taken to Twitter to call the show – particularly, Alec Baldwin’s impression of him – “unfunny.”
.@NBCNews is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2017
Katie Rich is not the only person to face backlash recently for mentioning Barron Trump on social media. Modern Family star Julie Bowen, for example, recently posted a handful of photos on her Instagram account mocking the facial expressions Trump’s 10-year-old son made during the inauguration.
A photo posted by Julie Bowen (@itsjuliebowen) on
Bowen, for her part, declined to apologize.
.@MyraLisa I love that Barron is a kid being a kid. My kids would be a horror show at a public event! Just trying to keep it light.
— Julie Bowen (@itsJulieBowen) January 20, 2017
These controversies have raised questions about whether or not minor children of presidents are “fair game” when it comes to mocking and criticism. This is particularly true of Barron Trump, who has also been the subject of rumors that he is autistic — a rumor that Rosie O’Donnel helped spread on social media, according to Snopes.
Do you believe that Katie Rich’s Barron Trump tweet should have gotten her fired?
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]