The woman who impersonated Melania Trump and stripped naked in a music video for rapper T.I. said she is now getting death threats over the appearance.
Actress Melanie Marden, who bears a striking resemblance to the first lady, appeared in the rapper's video where she stripped off her clothes in a provocative dance in a mock Oval Office. The video generated plenty of controversy and has led to death threats against her, but the actress is now defending herself in an Instagram post that also mentions some of the blowback she has suffered as a result of the divisive music video.
"I was hired (as an actress) not a stripper to portray Melania Trump," Marden wrote. "It was a creative choice for me, and also an opportunity to empower women. I stand firmly in my decision to share all of myself in this role. I wanted to be brave, be fearless and for the first time in my life do a role that required nudity. The body is nothing to be ashamed of."
Marden went on to compare herself to Alec Baldwin for his portrayal of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, saying that her playing Melania Trump is no different from the actor playing Trump.
But her portrayal has drawn pushback even from those normally critical of Donald Trump. CNN columnist Jill Filopovic wrote that the music video tried to attack Trump but instead ended up copying the president's misogynistic messages. She said Marden's role was demeaning to all women.
"T.I.'s message is fairly straightforward: Women are extensions of men, and it is humiliating for a man to have 'his' woman stripping for someone else," she wrote. "Sexually objectifying Melania is a shortcut way of demeaning both her and her husband."The music video also led to pushback from the White House, with Melania's official spokeswoman saying it was "disrespectful and disgusting" to portray the first lady as a stripper. She said this kind of "vulgar attack" only furthers divisiveness in the country.
Melanie Marden added that it was a difficult decision to take the role as Melania Trump, but that she is proud of herself for "being so brave" to take the role. She added that she is not growing angry at the people who have spoken out against her, saying they clearly have "deep wounds" inside of them and that she believes the criticism has nothing to do with her.