Will & Grace star Debra Messing has apologized after a tweet about Donald Trump was branded homophobic by other Twitter users.
Messing, a notable LGBTQ ally, said that Trump would make a “popular boyfriend” to other inmates should he be imprisoned.
Her tweet came in response to World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus applauding German Chancellor Angela Merkel for encouraging Germans to stay at home to aid the country’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“AMERICA. THIS is a LEADER,” Messing wrote. “[Donald Trump], you are a weak, scared, stupid, inept, negligent, vindictive, narcissistic, criminal.”
She continued: “I hope you live a long life in prison where you become the most popular boyfriend to the all inmates.”
However, Messing’s followers criticized her for the tone of the tweet, accusing her of perpetuating homophobic stereotypes.
“Maybe rethink this homophobic undertoned tweet?” one person wrote.
Another tweeted, “Love you Deb but please don’t bring gay sex into the equation as something derogatory.”
“Nice ‘tolerance’ display, especially towards the gay community,” someone wrote, while another user, who said they are gay, told Messing, “You suck in a bad way.”
“Wow, you’re quite the #homophobe,” one particularly scathing critique said. “You just put a lot of gay youth at risk. Thanks for that.”
Messing responded to criticism for the tweet, which she ultimately deleted, writing, “Let me be clear: I said nothing about LGBTQI/queer LOVE.”
“Rape is an act of violence. Trump has perpetrated violence on hundreds of millions of people,” she continued. “My hope is (and this is the first time in my life) that the tables are turned and he is the victim of perpetrators. #LGBTQIAally.”
I'd like to say I have been an LGBTQIA ally for decades, and I was in no way referencing LGBTQI/queer love/sexuality. It is not my proudest moment, but 45 has victimized 100s of millions of ppl; I had wished the tables turned on him. I apologize for the offensive way I did it. https://t.co/Q6SLIo9DWc
— Debra Messing✍🏻 (@DebraMessing) December 14, 2020
That did little to help matters, with one person calling it “even worse than the thing you’re apologizing for.”
“It’s possible to be a persuasive ally of lgbt rights, yet also instinctively perpetuate the idea that being penetrated is a humiliating & emasculating punishment, the subject of endless jeering and bullying and a notion directly responsible for countless acts of violent hazing,” another person wrote.
Messing’s tweet also drew the attention of a number of conservatives and Trump supporters, who wasted no time in directing insults and expletives at the actress.
However, some LGBTQ people came to her defense, including George Takei who wrote, “I thought it was hilarious!”
“As a gay man, I don’t find your comments homophobic at all,” one user wrote. “I’ve made similar comments myself regarding Trump. The only difference being his cellmate would be a 400lbs hairy dude named Bubba.”
Another wrote: “Debra, there’s absolutely no need for you to apologize. You’ve been a truly amazing ally of the LGBTQ+ community for as long as I can remember. Love you, and welcome your support in our ongoing battle for equality for all!”
Last year, Broadway legend and LGBTQ ally Patti LuPone was criticized for a tweet telling Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham to “come out.”
Graham had defended Trump over comments telling four Democratic congresswomen to “go home,” which were widely viewed as racist.
LuPone slammed Graham for allegedly defending racism, calling the senator a “disgrace.”
“Lindsey Graham you are a disgrace,” she tweeted. “On a personal note, why don’t you just bite the bullet and come out. You might just come to your senses.”
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