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Television

Trump calls ‘Will & Grace’ star Debra Messing a ‘McCarthy style Racist’

Debra Messing at the 2018 Golden Globes
Debra Messing wants to know who is paying to go to a Beverly Hills fundraiser for President Trump.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

The spat between Debra Messing and President Trump is heating up, with POTUS on Thursday calling the actress a “McCarthy style Racist.” He also wonders whether NBC will give the actress the boot, a la ABC and Roseanne Barr, for her recent Twitter activity supporting both the listing of Trump donors and a church sign that name-called both black and white Trump supporters.

On Twitter, #RacistDebraMessing trended Wednesday after the actress apologized for liking a Baptist church’s sign that called black Trump voters “mentally ill” and white votes for the president “pure racism.”

“Bad ‘actress’ Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “She wants to create a ‘Blacklist’ of Trump supporters, & is being accused of McCarthyism. Is also being accused of being a Racist because of the terrible things she said about blacks and mental illness. If Roseanne Barr said what she did, even being on a much higher rated show, she would have been thrown off television. Will Fake News NBC allow a McCarthy style Racist to continue? ABC fired Roseanne. Watch the double standard!”

Messing apologized Wednesday for liking the church sign and defended herself to a critic.

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“NUMBER 1– I apologized for liking that church sign. I said I regret it. I shud have thought before recklessly suppprting,” Messing said in a series of tweets. “You won’t accept this but black people are targeted by Trump’s GOP for voter supression. Charlottesville was about Trump supporters hating POC and Jews. THAT is where my support of a sign at a southern black church came from. The use of the term ‘mentally ill’ was wrong & hurtful. NUMBER 2 I NEVER NOR WOULD I EVER call for a blacklist of anyone for any reason. The info is publicly available.”

She denied that she had ever called for a blacklist for any reason, saying that as a consumer she simply wanted to know where her money was going — and that it wasn’t going to people who support the president.

“Just as you have the right to not watch W&G bc I don’t support Trump, I have the right to not go see (pay for) a movie with someone supporting babies in cages,” she tweeted.

Messing’s exact words regarding the revelation of those donors, posted late last week on Twitter in response to a Hollywood Reporter story about Trump appearing at a Beverly Hills fundraiser during Emmys week, were, “Please print a list of all attendees please. The public has a right to know.”

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She was backed up by “Will & Grace” costar Eric McCormack, who tweeted, “Hey, @THR, kindly report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don’t wanna work with. Thx.”

“I have not forgotten that when it was announced that I was going to do The Apprentice, and when it then became a big hit, helping NBC’s failed lineup greatly, @DebraMessing came up to me at an Upfront & profusely thanked me, even calling me ‘Sir,’” Trump tweeted over the weekend. “How times have changed!”

Whoopi Goldberg then got in on the action when “The View” returned after the Labor Day holiday, saying to her cohosts that she was sure the “Will & Grace” stars misspoke in their tweets.

“We had something called a blacklist, and a lot of really good people were accused of stuff,” she said Tuesday on “The View,” referencing the anti-Communist blacklist that plagued Hollywood during the McCarthy era. “Nobody cared whether it was true or not. They were accused. And they lost their right to work.”

Goldberg continued: “In this country, people can vote for who they want to. That is one of the great rights of this country. You don’t have to like it, but we don’t go after people because we don’t like who they voted for. We don’t go after them that way. We can talk about issues and stuff, but we don’t print out lists.”

Also on Thursday, fellow “The View” panelist Meghan McCain took on McCormack, who had posted a clarification of his original tweet.

“I absolutely do not support blacklists or discrimination of any kind, as anyone who knows me would attest. I’d simply like to understand where Trump’s major donations are coming from, which is a matter of public record,” McCormack said in a statement on Twitter. “I am holding myself responsible for making educated and informed decisions that I can morally and ethically stand by and to do that, transparency is essential.”

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McCain wasn’t having that.

“No one is misinterpreting - you want to put a list together of Trump supporters/republicans in Hollywood and end their employment, publicly shame them, possibly invited god knows what into their lives,” she tweeted. “THIS is the ‘tolerant Hollywood left’ and no amount of backtracking changes it.”

Messing and McCormack’s show, “Will & Grace,” is set to return to NBC for a final season in 2020.


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