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Monday 21 January 2019

Trump asks why US TV host was not sacked over Ivanka insult

Samantha Bee used a vulgar term to describe the president’s daughter on her Full Frontal show.

Samantha Bee, host of Full Frontal (AP)
Samantha Bee, host of Full Frontal (AP)

By Anne Flaherty

US president Donald Trump has asked why comedian Samantha Bee was not sacked for using a vulgar term to describe his daughter.

Mr Trump tweeted that it was a “total double standard” that TBS had not cancelled Bee’s show, Full Frontal, after the comedian said Ivanka Trump was a “feckless c***” on immigration.

The president appeared to be referring to ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne Barr’s show, a favourite among conservatives, after Barr jokingly compared a former White House aide in the Obama administration who is African-American to an ape.

The US leader tweeted: “Why aren’t they firing no talent Samantha Bee for the horrible language used on her low ratings show?

“A total double standard but that’s O.K., we are Winning, and will be doing so for a long time to come!”

It is the latest salvo in the US culture war that Mr Trump seems to relish. Across social media platforms this week, Americans hotly debated whether Bee – whose feminist style comedy often criticises sexism – was justified in using a misogynistic expletive to criticise Ivanka Trump.

Ivanka Trump throws a football during the White House Sports and Fitness Day event (AP)

Trump supporters noted that the term used by Bee would result in heavy criticism had it been aimed at a female Democratic official, such as Nancy Pelosi.

Mr Trump himself has repeatedly drawn fire for his sexist language and sexual boasting. A 2005 Access Hollywood video features audio of Mr Trump bragging about how he grabs women’s genitals and gets away with it.

On the tape, Mr Trump talks about forcing himself on women, kissing them and groping them. Mr Trump eventually apologised for his comments.

The Samantha Bee incident also underscored the unprecedented role Ivanka Trump plays at the White House. While the children of presidents are often shielded from public jokes by comedians because of their age and because they are not White House employees, Ivanka Trump has taken an active policy role as an adult in her father’s administration.

Roseanne Barr’s revived comedy show was pulled after her controversial remarks on Twitter (AP)

A close presidential adviser, she has promoted the administration’s tax overhaul and led a US delegation at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Bee apologised to Ivanka Trump and her viewers on Thursday for using the obscenity. Her network, TBS, also said it was “our mistake, too,” in allowing the language on Bee’s show, Full Frontal, on Wednesday. Her show is taped and not aired live.

Separately, Barr has apologised for her remarks.

Press Association

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