Recently, legendary and iconic horror author Stephen King made headlines after he was publicly blocked by Donald Trump on Twitter. After all, in what universe does the President of the United States worry so much about a horror author’s social media posts that he goes to the trouble of blocking him? Even in Stephen King’s most bizarre and horrific fictional worlds, nothing that inexplicable ever went down.
So it’s not surprising that King, who has been a vocal anti-Trump critic since the former reality TV star set his sights on politics, set out to make a mockery of the POTUS for his decidedly unpresidential social media filtering.
The social media drama between Donald Trump and Stephen King came to a head on June 13. That’s when King tweeted that he had finally pushed Trump to the breaking point. According to Stephen King, he had been blocked from reading Trump’s tweets. Likely, the method behind the blocking madness was to prevent the prolific, hilarious, and supremely insightful horror author from commenting publicly on Trump’s 3:00 a.m. Twitter rants.
Either way, the damage had apparently been done, and Stephen King’s access to Trump’s Twitter feed (through his “official” Twitter account at least) was no more.
So King did what most social media users (especially those with a large following) would do in his situation – he tweeted about it.
Trump has blocked me from reading his tweets. I may have to kill myself.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 13, 2017
Mincing no words, Stephen King announced to his social media followers that Donald Trump had blocked him. He went on to add that “I may have to kill myself.”
King’s response to the Trump blocking, a scandal all its own and closely tied to allegations that a huge number of Trump’s Twitter followers are fake, seemed to be nothing more than a simple joke at Trump’s expense. Many of his followers seemed to get a laugh out of the situation and responded positively to his announcement.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) June 13, 2017
Congratulations, sir! Likely he's the only person in the Free World who doesn't know who you are, though, because he doesn't read.
— Melissa Jo Peltier (@MelissaJPeltier) June 13, 2017
Even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling came to King’s defense and aid, sharing Trump’s tweets with the blocked horror author despite the best efforts of the POTUS to keep him in the dark.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 15, 2017
However, at least one person didn’t find anything funny about Stephen King’s response to finding himself on the wrong side of Trump’s virtual Twitter blockade. Contributor Chris Anderson of the Herald-Tribune finds nothing funny about King’s response to Donald Trump. Nothing at all. And he wrote an entire op-ed to call Stephen King out for “joking about suicide.”
According to Anderson, King’s tweet was ” flippant, careless, and highly insensitive,” and it serves as a biting example of “what happened to America in 2017.”
Blocked! Condemned to an existential wasteland of Trumplessness!
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 14, 2017
Calling King an “unapologetic Trump basher who apparently has annoyed the president to the point of being blocked,” the writer goes on to question how a tweet about killing himself could possibly be intended to be funny, citing suicide statistics in America. On average, 121 people in the U.S. kill themselves every day, 22 of those vets.
Anderson goes on to compare Stephen King’s response to being blocked by Trump on Twitter to the POTUS’ infamous comment that he could “shoot someone on 5th Avenue and no one would care.” What’s worse, wrote Anderson, is that none of King’s followers (that he could see) bothered to call out the horror author for making light of the subject of taking one’s own life.
Molly, aka the Thing of Evil, after believing Donald Trump was the CANDIDATE of evil, switches her allegiance to someone even worse. pic.twitter.com/ZkvrfPffE5
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 2, 2016
Christ Anderson, who referred to himself as a “two-bit newspaper hack” in his op-ed (possibly with the same level of sarcasm and derision used by Stephen King when he tweeted about killing himself), was so concerned about the lack of public outrage over King’s tweet that he contacted a mental health professional to get her opinion on the subject.
Melissa Larkin-Skinner, CEO of Centerstone at Manatee Glens or “a place where they don’t consider mental illness a punch line,” seems to share Anderson’s view on Stephen King’s casual tweeted reference to killing himself.
“When people say things like this I always cringe. For a person to be so flippant about someone killing themselves is hard to stomach.”
In the end, the Anderson wrote that he’s not sure if he’s most concerned about “The insensitivity of what King wrote, or the fact everyone is so preoccupied with trashing Trump that they failed to see what the real problem is here.”
Even so, he has a plan for the future when it comes to celebrities commenting on politics – the fact that a former reality TV star has become POTUS notwithstanding.
“If I have to read one more celebrity telling me what they think about politics I may have to… Ignore it, and go on with the rest of my life.”
What do you think? Was it inappropriate of Stephen King to publicly joke about killing himself? Is it ever okay to make light of suicide? Even when you’ve been Twitter-blocked by the POTUS? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Mark Lennihan/AP Images]