Rob Lowe’s joke about U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren didn’t go over well with some people in Hollywood, Fox News is reporting. Warren — who just announced she’s running for president in the 2020 election — was rocked by scandal after it was discovered that she identified her race as “American Indian” on a 1986 registration card for the Texas state bar. After Warren revealed her presidential bid at a kickoff event in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Lowe took the opportunity to tweet out what some considered to be a low blow.
“Elizabeth Warren would bring a whole new meaning to Commander in ‘Chief,'” said the actor.
The negative response was almost immediate.
“What a raw blow!” tweeted Star Wars actor Mark Hamill.
“That’s not funny,” wrote actor Vincent D’Onofrio.
“Don’t. Jesus,” responded Hot in Cleveland star Valerie Bertinelli.
“Just when I was liking Rob Lowe after his moving comments about being his mom’s caretaker — he takes a page from Trump,” wrote former NBC correspondent Soledad O’Brien. “Ick. You shouldn’t do this.”
Lowe eventually deleted his tweet and posted a follow-up message to say he didn’t mean to make people “upset.”
According to USA Today, Warren’s heritage was first brought up back in 2012, when her Republican opponent Scott Brown questioned Warren about her past claims to be of Cherokee descent. It was discovered that Warren identified as white when she applied to teach law at the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and when she applied in 1995 to work at Harvard University, only to change her identification to Native American after obtaining the positions. Many took this as a sign that Warren was attempting to use her ethnicity when it best suited her. President Donald Trump often mockingly refers to Warren as “Pocahontas.”
I deleted my Elizabeth Warren tweet. It was a joke and some peeps got upset, and that’s never my intention. On the GOOD side: I just got to use the Oxford comma!— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) February 10, 2019
Warren opted to take a DNA test to prove her ethnicity, and it showed that the senator did have Native American blood, but that it went back at least six generations, which is too far to claim tribal citizenship. She was publicly condemned by Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. for taking the test and identifying as Native American. The senator has since acknowledged that she does not have any tribal citizenship or connections to the Cherokee Nation. She has gone on to issue multiple apologies, including personal ones to Cherokee Nation leaders.
Warren says that while she knew of her Cherokee ancestry due to stories passed on by her family, she now understands this does not play a role in her technical ethnicity due to her lack of tribal citizenship. She also maintains that she wasn’t trying to use her race to her advantage.