Recently in an interview with The Guardian, filmmaker David Lynch made some comments about Donald Trump which caused infighting among his fans, as well as cinema fans in general.
Lynch was taken out of context, according to Consequence of Sound, when he made multiple headlines across internet news outlets, and with right-leaning news sources in particular, who jumped at the chance to grab up such a significant figure in the Republican-scarce art community. Outlets such as Breitbart and Fox News were quick to file Lynch under “Trump supporter,” even though the 72-year-old filmmaker’s comments on Donald Trump were never definitively pro-Trump. Most notably, this fiasco culminated with the president tweeting, seemingly with pride, support coming from the director of Eraserhead. This came as something of a surreal moment to Trump fans, Lynch fans, and even completely removed parties alike, as Trump had previously never expressed a particular fondness for Lynch’s signature style of abstract art house cinema.
“Director David Lynch: Trump Could Go Down as One of the Greatest Presidents” https://t.co/AcgnIZNh6e— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
Now it appears President Donald Trump is left with egg on his face, after prematurely claiming David Lynch as one of his own. Soon after the president’s tweet, David Lynch responded to the controversy by stating that he’d been taken out of context. The Hollywood Reporter called it a backtrack, stating Lynch was “reversing course” on “complimentary comments.” In his interview with The Guardian, Lynch never specifically stated a certainty at the prospect of Trump as “one of the greatest presidents in history,” but seemed to refer to a potential, using the word “could.”
Lynch went on to express much displeasure with Donald Trump’s job as president thus far, but hopes the commander-in-chief will turn things around. While the director is famous for his vagueness, it would seem his clarification on this subject is uncharacteristically closed to significant interpretation, as his words express a view that the cause of much “suffering and division” lies squarely with Donald Trump
“This quote which has traveled around was taken a bit out of context and would need some explaining.
“Unfortunately, if you continue as you have been, you will not have a chance to go down in history as a great president. This would be very sad it seems for you – and for the country. You are causing suffering and division.”
Trump may have foreseen the incoming clarification, as he seemed to lay out something of a safety net while speaking to supporters in South Carolina. The president spoke to the crowd, stating, “There’s David Lynch. Enjoy it because his career in Hollywood is officially over…” thereby ensuring any potential forthcoming negative comments coming from Lynch about Trump could be written off as damage control.
Lynch’s Twin Peaks collaborator, Mark Frost, with whom Lynch co-created the series, is a particularly outspoken critic of Donald Trump, often tweeting his distaste for the current administration.
David Lynch is not known for speaking on politics regularly. Lynch has often described himself as not being especially political. In the 2016 primaries he tweeted support for Senator Bernie Sanders, who ran as a Democrat.
Of all Lynch’s notable works, his largest fan base lies with the cult-classic television series Twin Peaks. With fan websites like Welcome to Twin Peaks and even a print publication dedicated to the series called Blue Rose Magazine, Twin Peaks touts a sizable following, especially considering the cryptic nature of the show. The series is so impenetrable, in fact, that popular websites like 25 Years Later are dedicated to analysis of the series. Yet Showtime’s official Twitter for last summer’s Emmy-hopeful Twin Peaks: The Return attracts approximately 80,000 followers. News of Lynch’s alleged Trump support landed hard with those fans, causing infighting across Twitter and Facebook groups.
Lynch’s clarification that he doesn’t actively support Donald Trump, but rather hopes the president can change his current course, puts the heated debate to rest among fans in regard to the director’s true meaning behind his statements. This marks what may well be the first time Lynch’s fan base received a definitive resolution for their debates about the filmmaker or his work.
However, given Trump’s history of responding to celebrity criticism, it may only mark the beginning of a previously inconceivable public debate between President Donald Trump and director David Lynch.