Seth Rogen attracted attention this weekend for scathing tweets directed at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), beginning with his accusing the senator of being a “fascist” after Cruz criticized President Biden’s decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord. Their ongoing exchange has been called a “Twitter spat” online, a description the actor argues distracts from the gravity of the political situation at hand.

“It’s a terrible state of affairs, and the fact that it’s viewed as a ‘Twitter spat’ is honestly the most annoying thing to me,” Rogen said Tuesday evening on a call with The Washington Post. “This man is a fascist. This man is trying to overthrow the United States government. This isn’t, like, ‘Comedian and politician get into a war on Twitter.’ ”

Rogen’s accusations stem from Cruz’s decision to stand by former president Donald Trump as he perpetuated misleading claims of fraud in the 2020 election. Days before Congress counted the electoral votes — a process upended by the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6 — The Post’s Philip Bump wrote that Cruz had “one-upped” his colleague Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) by recruiting several senators to issue a joint statement focused on “unprecedented allegations of voter fraud.”

“Trump and allies, including Hawley and Cruz, have elevated the baseless claim of election fraud specifically to cast a pall over Trump’s loss,” Bump wrote. “That about 40 percent of Americans believe these allegations despite the utter lack of evidence should be seen as proof of a failure of honest discourse, not of the election.” Cruz continued to question the election’s legitimacy in a speech delivered before the riot as part of “an effort to obstruct the formal counting of electoral votes.”

Cruz’s rhetoric has come under intensified scrutiny since the riot, and his critics, as Rogen tweeted Sunday, argue that he “inspired a deadly mob to storm the Capitol.” The senator has responded by ridiculing Rogen, calling him a “moron” and framing him as a “rich, angry Hollywood celebrity” whose politics conflict with “blue-collar” workers or union members. Rogen, who has also written, directed and produced projects, noted separately that he is actually a member of four unions.

When Rogen replied to Cruz’s tweet about the film “Fantasia” by saying that its creators would “hate” him, the senator equated him to “a Marxist with Tourette’s.”

Several prominent figures have chimed in to support Rogen, redirecting attention to Cruz’s political efforts. “The Good Place” creator Mike Schur encouraged those following the back-and-forth between Rogen and Cruz to focus on “the fact that [Cruz] made a bad-faith attempt to overthrow a fair election.” Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt likened Cruz standing by Trump to “supporters of Hitler, Mussolini, and others.” Comedian Billy Eichner underscored that, during a surging pandemic, the elected official has chosen to tweet “insults at an actor while his constituents die.”

Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas representative who lost to Cruz in his 2018 run for Senate, tweeted Sunday that Cruz kept the “fight going with Seth Rogen” because he is “guilty of sedition,” and that the public shouldn’t “let him off the hook” for “aiding and abetting an insurrection that killed 5 people including a cop and very nearly ended in the murders of members of Congress and the Vice President.”

O’Rourke pointed out that the editorial boards of multiple Texas news organizations have called on the senator to resign: “Your lies cost lives,” reads the Houston Chronicle headline. Speaking to The Post, Rogen said Cruz “should be in f---ing jail, and he should not be a f---ing politician.”

“The false equivalency between what I am saying and what he is saying to me is one of the biggest problems in America, to me,” he continued. “The fact that calling out a fascist and being a fascist are put on the same platform or the same plane is incredibly upsetting.”

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