Sunday 19 November 2017

Sean Spicer’s performance at the Emmys drew criticism from both sides of the political spectrum

Even some of those who supported the former White House press secretary were upset by his appearance.

Sean Spicer speaks at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards
Sean Spicer speaks at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards

By Kameron Virk

It’s been a few weeks since Sean Spicer left his role as White House press secretary, bringing to an end a very eventful period.

During that time Spicer was often accused by critics of taking liberties with the truth, starting off from his first day in the job when he claimed Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest ever.

And it was those criticisms he addressed when he was invited on to the Emmys stage by Stephen Colbert.

“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period! Both in person and around the world!” Spicer said – echoing almost exactly what he said back in January following the inauguration.

The 45-year-old’s presence angered a lot of critics of the Trump administration.

The joke – which some interpreted as Spicer admitting he lied that day – also touched a nerve for CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins.

Some worried that “lines are being blurred”.

But other viewers thought the moment shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Spicer entered the stage behind a moving podium, referencing Melissa McCarthy’s parody of him for Saturday Night Live.

McCarthy was in the crowd and looked just as surprised as everyone else to see the man she played for months appear on stage.

But Spicer also faced a reaction from the other end of the political spectrum.

Trump supporter Mark Dice, a YouTuber who describes himself as a “media analyst exposing fake news”, labelled the former White House employee a “traitor”.

And his followers mostly agreed.

The TV awards show featured many moments which referenced Spicer’s former employer, including winners’ speeches by Donald Glover, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.

Alec Baldwin, who won supporting actor in a comedy for his portrayal of Trump on SNL, said: “I suppose I should say, at long last, Mr President, here is your Emmy,” referencing Trump’s claim that, because The Apprentice has never won an Emmy, the awards show is rigged.

Baldwin said backstage that most people in the entertainment industry were “very grateful for (Spicer) to have a sense of humour”.

He added that Spicer was “obviously compelled to do certain things that we might not have respected or we might not have admired, we might have been super critical of, in order to do his job. But I’ve done some jobs that are things you shouldn’t admire or respect me for either.”

Press Association

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