Avowed Trump supporter, Republican National Convention speaker, and 1980s actor Scott Baio has ruffled more than a few social media feathers with a recent retweet. The social media posting, which has since been deleted from Baio’s Twitter feed, travels way down the rabbit hole and straight to one of the deepest, darkest and most offensive conspiracy theories in recent years.
According to the image that Scott Baio retweeted, the infamous Sandy Hook school shooting and the death of anti-hate protester Heather Heyer in Charlottesville may both be nothing more than hoaxes. What’s more, the Baio retweet implicated that Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, could be an actress who played a role in both unthinkable tragedies.
The image retweeted by the Charles in Charge actor indicates that Heather Heyer’s mother and the mother of Sandy Hook victim Vicki Soto are actually the same person, a crisis actor who played a role in perpetuating the “lie” in two different “false flag” situations.
The controversial image was retweeted by Baio after being posted by Twitter account @W4BB17, which appears largely focused on perpetuating conspiracy theories, including the false claim the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax. The image Scott Baio retweeted then deleted also includes the name of a website that proudly and falsely proclaims, “Sandy Hook was fake. Any questions?”
— #WhiteRabbit ???? (@W4BB17) August 24, 2017
The social media response to Scott Baio’s almost inconceivable Heather Heyer-related retweet was immediate and largely one of shocked outrage. It didn’t take long for Baio to delete the offensive allegation that Heather Heyer’s mother is a crisis actor involved both in the Sandy Hook “hoax” and a second apparent hoax in Charlottesville. Despite his attempt to erase his actions, the internet remembers, and Baio was immediately called out by many of his roughly 218,000 Twitter followers.
According to many of those followers (and other Twitter users), Scott Baio didn’t care for being called out over the retweet, and he reportedly began blocking many of those who dared publicly question what he was thinking.
I'm just going to leave this right here. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/fWnrPFvHdz
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) August 24, 2017
— Dani Sage (@Dani_L_Sage) August 25, 2017
Those who were able to post their responses to Scott Baio had few nice things to say about his callous disregard for Heather Heyer’s mourning mother. Not to mention all of those who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook.
Timing of this "cute humor"/conspiracy bulls**t & the pain it caused t#HeatherHeyer's mourning family was callous & wrong. Not funny at all.
— eyeamtmc (@eyeamtmc) August 25, 2017
That accusation is genuinely horrifying.
— Kate Bishop (@Katebishopuk) August 24, 2017
@ScottBaio is insane just like Trump & rest of the minions! Sandy Hook was NOT a hoax & Heather Heyer was killed by White Supremacist.
— Colette (@CatholicGirl15) August 25, 2017
Scott Baio, who was a speaker at the RNC, apparently has conspiracy "thoughts" about Sandy Hook & Heather Heyer's mother. What an awful man. https://t.co/1lox5j3qCy
— Mary Beth Williams (@embeedub) August 25, 2017
After an overwhelmingly negative response to his retweet, including many comments that expressed the belief that a retweet was no different than saying the words himself, Scott Baio deleted the image from his Twitter feed. He then claimed that asking for thoughts on a meme doesn’t indicate his approval of a conspiracy theory.
Me asking for thoughts on a meme does NOT mean I believe or approve of it. I asked 4 thoughts. That's it. Stop spinning untruths.
— Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) August 24, 2017
Over 1,200 Twitter users replied to Baio’s attempt at redemption, with many continuing to question the thought process behind retweeting something so controversial and even vile – especially in light of Heather Heyer’s recent untimely death. In all, few of Scott Baio’s Twitter followers have yet come to his defense. Even so, there was a handful who spoke out for the former Happy Days star.
You asked a question that didn't fit the narrative of the left. These are not rational people. They have been taught not to question.
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) August 24, 2017
If you twitch your eyebrow these days someone is gonna make something out of it….sad but true.
— Marie Allen (@Marie_5100) August 24, 2017
After hours of social media bickering with supporters and critics alike, Scott Baio finally got around to apologizing for the insulting and inflammatory retweet. As The Blaze reports, it’s possible that Baio read a public post that appeared on the Facebook page of Victoria Soto, a teacher who was brutally slain in the Sandy Hook attack. The Facebook page is maintained by the Soto family, and it is believed that one of the deceased teacher’s family members wrote the post which condemned Scott Baio’s thoughtless retweeting of a hurtful conspiracy theory.
Shortly after the Soto Facebook post, which accused Baio of blocking them when they attempted to “reach out” to him on Twitter, Scott Baio posted an apology for the retweet. A post that, according to the Soto family, targeted victim’s families.
In his apology tweet, Baio lamented retweeting the Sandy Hook and Heather Heyer hoax image, admitting (after defending himself on social media for hours) that it was simply wrong.
In retrospect, I wish I had thought longer about retweeting that conspiracy photo. I shouldn't have sent it. It was wrong. #Baio
— Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) August 25, 2017
Quite a few social media users continued to call out Scott Baio even after his public apology, calling his belated remorse inadequate and very much “too little, too late.” Particularly because he allegedly blocked the family of Sandy Hook victim Vicki Soto when they attempted to engage him in dialogue about his perpetuation of such a hateful and widely debunked conspiracy theory.
After hundreds retweeted n expressed disappointment n u have been busy blocking so many! Incl Vicki Soto's family
— Mary Miller???? (@ClubMaryMiller) August 25, 2017
What do you think? Was Scott Baio right or wrong to share such a controversial image on Twitter? Is it ever appropriate for a celebrity with a large following to retweet a hateful conspiracy theory? Did his apology go far enough? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]