Mortified Stars React To Donald Trump And Joe Biden’s Chaotic TV Debate

Matt Bagwell
·Head of Entertainment, HuffPost UK
·4-min read

US stars including John Legend, Kerry Washington and Mark Ruffalo have shared their feelings following the highly-anticipated television debate between Donald Trump and his presidential rival Joe Biden.

Many took to Twitter to condemn the US president for failing to denounce white supremacy during the debate.

The two politicians faced off in Cleveland, Ohio, for the first debate, which came just over a month before the US presidential election.

During an acrimonious and chaotic showdown, Mr Trump and Mr Biden exchanged verbal blows while the moderator, Chris Wallace, struggled to take control.

Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and US President Donald Trump speaking during the first presidential debate. (Photo: JIM WATSON via Getty Images)
Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and US President Donald Trump speaking during the first presidential debate. (Photo: JIM WATSON via Getty Images)

At one point, Mr Trump was asked to disavow white supremacists and the Proud Boys, a far-right organisation, but instead told them to “stand back and stand by”.

His unwillingness to issue a blanket condemnation of white supremacy brought sharp and immediate criticism online from many well-known American celebrities.

In a stinging response, Frozen star Josh Gad, who is of Jewish descent, said: “The Nazis killed my family members. Tonight Trump told them to ‘stand by.’ I have never imagined saying these words in my life. ‘Mr. President, F*** YOU.’”

Actress Kerry Washington, best known for her work on political drama Scandal, tweeted: “Once again. He refuses to condemn White supremacy. PAY ATTENTION FOLKS. Please vote.”

Comedian and actress Robin Thede also accused Mr Trump of failing to condemn white supremacy, adding: “He encouraged it. The end. There are no two sides to this.”

Singer Christina Perri tweeted: “We just watched the president of the united states UNABLE and UNWILLING to condemn white supremacy. you all just saw and heard that.”

The Boys star Jack Quaid said: “He literally couldn’t denounce white supremacy.”

Zach Braff, best known for his work on TV comedy Scrubs, tweeted: “Only honest thing I digested: Nazis standby!”

And actor Patrick J Adams, the Duchess of Sussex’s former Suits co-star, said: “He just refused to condemn white supremacy. That just happened right?”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the verdict from Hollywood was in favour of Mr Biden.

Many stars – including Mark Ruffalo, John Legend and Pete Davidson – were critical of the president.

“We can’t put ourselves through another 4 years of this walking dumpster fire,” Legend, a frequent critic of Mr Trump, said.

The debate – which was marred by frequent interruptions from Mr Trump – included segments on the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and climate change.

Marvel star Ruffalo, a climate change activist, criticised Mr Trump’s environmental record and said “he has no leadership qualities, he has shown that all he can do is denigrate and lie”.

And best-selling author Stephen King, another vocal critic of the president, said: “You’ve got a decent man vs. a hulking, loudmouth bully with no specific plans on anything.”

READ MORE:

5 Big Moments From The Chaotic US 2020 Presidential Debate

5 Racist Trump Moments From The First 2020 Presidential Debate

Stars Wars' Mark Hamill Sums Up Donald Trump and John Biden’s TV Debate In One Perfect Tweet

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.