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President Donald Trump will swing through California in two weeks as part of his re-election campaign, and he has scheduled a Sept. 17 stop at a big-ticket fundraiser in Beverly Hills. The Hollywood Reporter provided details of that event in an Aug. 29 story, a report which led to a Twitter back-and-forth over the holiday weekend between Trump and Will & Grace star Debra Messing.
In a tweet on Friday, the actress called on THR to “print a list of all attendees please,” adding that “the public has a right to know.” Her longtime co-star Eric McCormack responded to Messing’s message with a similar request: “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.” Trump also weighed in, posting, “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.’ How times have changed.”
On Tuesday, their exchange made its way to airwaves via The View, and Whoopi Goldberg was not pleased that Messing and McCormack would make such a request. In a heated dialogue with fellow panelists Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin, Goldberg said that “the last time people did this” it did not end well.
“People ended up killing themselves. This is not a good idea,” she said, in reference to the infamous Hollywood blacklist. “We had something called a blacklist, and a lot of really good people were accused of stuff. Nobody cared whether it was true or not. They were accused. And they lost their right to work. … 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. I’m sure you guys misspoke when you said that because it sounded like a good idea. Think about it. Read about it. Remember what the blacklist actually meant to people and don’t encourage anyone, anyone, to do it.”
Behar quipped that such a list of attendees should not be called a blacklist in Trump’s case, rather “a white list.” She added that she agreed with Goldberg that individual names not be printed but the same concession should not be given to corporations. Hostin noted that such political contributions are always released to the public. “I do believe that you should know if a company gave a lot of money to Trump,” Behar said. “When it’s individuals, it’s stalking and you’re starting to endanger that person’s life.”
It is common during campaign season for news outlets to report on political fundraisers in the same fashion Hollywood events are covered, whether it be a premiere, conference, fundraiser or cocktail party — by reporting on who is in attendance.
As of Tuesday afternoon, neither Messing or McCormack had responded to the comments on The View. Messing did, however, respond to Dr. Darrell Scott. On his bio, Scott lists that he is a pastor at “New Spirit Revival Center, CEO WCCD Radio, CEO National Diversity Coalition for Trump, CEO Urban Revitalization Coalition; Presidential Transition Team.”
“I wish @DebraMessing and any other of them Hollywood Hypocrites would EVER try to bully me,” Scott posted on Twitter. “I’ll be at the fundraiser with the Potus in Beverly Hills on the 17th. Put my name on your list. Better yet…come see me.”
Messing’s response: “Is that a threat, sir? I didn’t realize requesting public information be printed by an outlet, is bullying. I think what you just wrote is worse than bullying. Congratulations. You made God proud.”
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