Reality TV star Lawson Bates denies participating in pro-Trump D.C. riots

The Bates family jumping for a large group photo
The Bates family of the UPtv reality series “Bringing Up Bates.”

Reality TV personality and singer Lawson Bates is rejecting accusations that he and brother Trace Bates participated in Wednesday’s pro-Trump attack on the Capitol Building.

On Twitter, the “Bringing Up Bates” star wrote he and his brother attended a pro-Trump event in Washington, D.C.’s Ellipse park — but denied any involvement in the Capitol siege — after photos of the siblings posing among other Trump supporters went viral.

“I’m sorry you haven’t done your research (or maybe you have and just didn’t like the truth) but this was a peaceful public event at the Ellipse, and not at the Capitol buildings,” Lawson, 28, replied to a woman who accused him of “domestic terrorism.” “We were not there and have ALWAYS roundly condemned violence, as we still do.”


When another person called Trace “sad” for allegedly “inciting violence” in D.C., his brother defended him, arguing, “He has a right (just like any American does) to peacefully go to a public event, and for anyone to insinuate he participated in anything other than just that, is disgusting and fully inaccurate.”

In the photos, Trace, 23, can be seen smiling with an American flag face covering around his neck, while a masked Lawson captures the surrounding crowd of people cheering and waving Trump 2020 flags on his phone.

After eagle-eyed Twitter users identified the brothers on social media, some called on UPtv to cancel their Kardashian-esque series, “Bringing Up Bates,” which chronicles the lives of Trace, Lawson, their parents and their 17 siblings.

“Have you heard the news yet?” writer Laura Ojeda Melchor replied to a promo tweet posted by the “Bringing Up Bates” account. “Lawson and Trace Bates were both at the trump coup today. They filmed themselves there. #cancelthebates”

“@UPtv do you support domestic terrorism?” Twitter user @elizabethKCMO wrote. “Lawson and Trace Bates were both in front of the Capitol today in the middle of the chaos.”

One person sarcastically wondered “if Lawson and Trace Bates participation in today’s angry mob will be featured in the next season” of “Bringing Up Bates,” while another projected UPtv’s “ratings going down after this. Just sayin’.”


In a statement provided Thursday night to The Times, UPtv said, “We have looked into this matter, and based on what we’ve been able to determine, Trace and Lawson had no involvement with the violence at the Capitol. We will review any additional information that becomes available.”

Throughout Wednesday, Lawson retweeted Republican politicians — including Trump, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn — demanding the insurrectionists “end this violence” after supporting the president who incited it.

“Americans have a right to peaceful protest; they do not have a right to violence!” Lawson reiterated. “We did not go to the Capitol at all, and anyone participating in violence should be prosecuted.”