Is Donald Trump actually a fan of Issa Rae’s comedy “Insecure” on HBO? Or is something else going on?
Sometime late Sunday night, Trump’s Twitter account liked a tweet about the HBO show that said, “This is how I wanted tonight’s episode of insecure to end…Damn Molly,” referencing the character played by Yvonne Orji, who has an up-and-down relationship with Rae’s character. The tweet includes a GIF from “The Color Purple” in which young Celie and Nettie play a clapping game.
Currently, it’s the only tweet that Trump’s account likes.
The situation immediately spawned confusion — as well as speculative conspiracy theories. Rae, in a reply to someone on Twitter about Trump’s liking the tweet, said only, “what the f— is this.”
Some observers wondered if Trump’s “like” of the tweet was a mistake; an attempt at trolling; the work of a rogue underling; or possibly a hack of his account. Another theory emerged that the account that posted the tweet, @shiningheaux, was a bot account created by Trump’s social-media team to appear legitimate and gain followers before turning pro-Trump (although there is no evidence to support this notion; the account in question was created in November 2014).
Twitter and HBO declined to comment. Reps for the White House and Rae did not respond to requests for comment.
Amid the unexplained phenomenon, Kumail Nanjiani — who costars with Rae in rom-com “The Lovebirds” on Netflix — offered this: “Well I found one thing I have in common with [Trump]: we’re both big fans of @IssaRae,” he wrote in a tweet.
Well I found one thing I have in common with him: we’re both big fans of @IssaRae.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) June 8, 2020
The account whose tweet Trump liked @shiningheaux, was previously called “Shea Butter Kneecaps” but after the attention drawn to the tweet, it is now called “Black Lives Matter.”
The Season 4 finale of “Insecure” airs next Sunday (June 14). The June 7 episode of “Insecure,” titled “Lowkey Trying,” was directed by Kerry Washington, who tweeted her appreciation for the opportunity.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Insecure since the jump,” Washington wrote. “This is a show that showcases our full humanity. Our beautiful joys & struggles. Our culture, our neighborhoods. Our rich alive blackness. To direct this show was a privilege! I’m so proud to be part of the @insecurehbo family.”
I’ve been a huge fan of Insecure since the jump. This is a show that showcases our full humanity. Our beautiful joys & struggles. Our culture, our neighborhoods. Our rich alive blackness. To direct this show was a privilege! I’m so proud to be part of the @insecurehbo family. pic.twitter.com/7liy2YzcN8
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) June 8, 2020
Twitter is Trump’s favored social media platform, where he has nearly 82 million followers.
But the company increasingly has been on the receiving end of Trump’s ire. After Twitter last month applied fact-check labels to his inaccurate tweets about mail-in voting, Trump issued an executive order aiming to remove Twitter’s legal protections for speech on its platform. That prompted a lawsuit from a tech policy organization charging that Trump’s order violates the First Amendment.
Twitter also hid another Trump tweet suggesting Minneapolis protesters would be shot with the racially loaded comment, “when the looting stars, the shooting starts.” And last Thursday, the company pulled down a Trump 2020 campaign video after receiving a copyright-infringement complaint. The video was about the killing of George Floyd and the ensuing protests and civil unrest across the U.S.