Alyssa Milano was swiftly criticised on Twitter after comparing US President Trump’s red Make America Great Again (Maga) hats to the white hoods of the Ku Klux Klan. And now she’s planning to write an op-ed to address the brewing backlash.
Her initial tweet, which was shared on Sunday, appeared to reference the confrontations that erupted around a Kentucky teenager and a Native American elder at overlapping marches at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington over the weekend, a flashpoint that had been mischaracterized in the media and on social media.
“The red MAGA hat is the new white hood. Without white boys being able to empathise with other people, humanity will continue to destroy itself #FirstThoughtsWhenIWakeUp,” the actress-activist wrote.
The ‘Charmed’ alum, who often heartily voices her distaste for the Trump administration, appeared to be referencing high-schooler Nick Sandmann’s pro-Trump headgear and initial criticism the teenager received for apparently mocking 64-year-old Nathan Phillips.
The events were widely debated by Twitter users, who also accused Milano of jumping to conclusions and being “colour blind,” and led to many people of colour sharing their affinities to the Trump-supporting headgear.
And as the unrest from the anti-abortion March for Life and Indigenous Peoples March came into focus when new videos contextualising the events surfaced, Milano drew further scrutiny for her words.
“Please get the whole story,” one user told Milano. “These kids did not start this.”
In fact, additional footage showed that there were other groups potentially inciting tension and that Sandmann was trying to de-escalate it. By Monday, Milano addressed the larger debate, particularly the aspects that relate to abortion, but that didn’t appear to defuse the situation.
“Let’s not forget — this entire event happened because a group of boys went on a school-sanctioned trip to protest against a woman’s right to her own body and reproductive health care. It is not debatable that bigotry was at play from the start,” she wrote, further elaborating with her own views on abortion.
“There isn’t a side in this debate that isn’t pro-life. I am pro-life. I am also pro-choice. Those calling me an infant killer are anti-choice. Once again, your religious beliefs do not carry more weight than scientific facts and my physical autonomy,” she added.
She was then accused of “moving the goalpost.”
The savvy social-media star appeared to take the backlash in stride though, even posting reports about how it played out when she addressed the controversy again on Tuesday.
“Apparently, I’m in ‘hot water’ and facing ‘backlash’. So ... I’m going to do what any thoughtful human with a platform would do ... write an op-ed. Stay tuned,” she tweeted.
As of Wednesday morning, no such op-ed had been published.