Democracy Dies in Darkness

Morning Mix

Reaction to Spicer's Emmys appearance: 'Please don't normalize' him

September 18, 2017 at 7:41 AM

Sean Spicer made a surprise appearance at the Emmy Awards on Sunday night, and not everyone was laughing.

Spicer, however, seemed pleased with his appearance. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly afterward, he said that at the awards show, “everyone has been very gracious,” even though “it’s not exactly a Republican crowd.”

For many, it was an attempt to “normalize” a former White House press secretary who repeatedly and blatantly lied to the American people on behalf of President Trump.

Spicer’s joke, mocking his own claims about Trump’s inaugural crowd size, stirred many angry reactions on Twitter within moments of him leaving the stage.

“NO to Sean Spicer,” journalist Mark Harris tweeted. “It’s so great that we can embrace someone who used a powerful position to abuse the press and lie to America.”

“Do NOT cheer for Sean Spicer,” tweeted Kelly Dittmar, an assistant professor at Rutgers University. “This is how we normalize & excuse unethical, racist, sexist, etc. behavior.”

Others, including author and commentator Roxane Gay, argued that Spicer’s appearance reflected white privilege.

Others saw Spicer’s act as an attempt to knock Trump.

“Colbert couldn’t leave the stage without finding some special way to hit the president where it really hurts,” Vanity Fair’s Laura Bradley wrote on Sunday. “So he brought out his secret weapon: Sean Spicer.”

Finally, others wondered if the former White House press secretary’s cameo would anger the president and were eagerly awaiting Trump’s response.

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Travis M. Andrews is a pop culture writer for The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 2016 as a reporter for Morning Mix. Previously, he was a travel and culture editor for Southern Living magazine and a pop culture and tech contributor for Mashable.

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