′Coup′ in the US Capitol sparks celebrity fury on Twitter | Arts | DW | 07.01.2021

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'Coup' in the US Capitol sparks celebrity fury on Twitter

As Donald Trump supporters stormed the Congress in Washington DC on Wednesday, luminaries of film, music and literature weighed in on the political chaos.

A mob of people clash with police outside a building

Trump supporters invade the US Capitol

Watching the US Senate chamber overrun by Trump flag-carrying activists was too much for bestselling author Stephen King, who focused on the seeming lack of police intervention compared to previous protests.

Blaming big tech for platforming division

Singer and actress Selena Gomez laid the blame for the violence that resulted in four deaths at the feet of social media companies who she says have given a platform to hate and division — implying the resentment stoked by Donald Trump online over baseless claims of election fraud.

So too comedian and actor Sacha Baron Cohen demanded that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and Google and Alphabet head Sundar Pichai finally deplatform the far-right activists who have a massive presence on the social media sites.

Where were the police?

Sarah Silverman, comedian, actor and former Saturday Night Live regular, retweeted commentary that questioned why hundreds of billions are spent on defense, yet a few hundred right-wing activists could so easily overtake a sacred democratic institution. 

Tom Morello, musician and former member of band Rage Against the Machine, provided evidence of looting in the Congress building.

Contrast to BLM protests

Roxanne Gay, author of Bad Feminist, reiterated the common theme that black people, and by inference, Black Lives Matter protesters, would not have been treated so lightly.

Frederick Joseph, bestselling author of The Black Friend: On Being A Better White Person, similarly contrasted the heavy policing, including teargas and rubber bullets, meted out to BLM marchers. 

English actor, comedian and director David Schneider asked what the reaction from police, and Donald Trump, would be if anti-racism protesters stormed the halls of government.

Police taking selfies with protesters

Also from Britain, writer, poet and journalist Eleanor Penny noted that police were taking selfies with Trump supporters who had forced their way inside the US Capitol.

Daniel Newman, US actor and star of hit TV series The Walking Dead, was outraged enough to retweet the same selfie footage, but shared another viral video that seemed to show police allowing the mob to pass through the security gates and enter the Capitol building.

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