Social media cried foul on Zoe Saldana’s statement that President-elect Donald Trump has been bullied by the Hollywood elite. While promoting her new movie “Live by Night,” the actress explained actors unleashing abrasive comments against the Republican caused a large segment of Americans to sympathize with him.
Saldana, who does not support Trump, shared her thoughts with the international news agency Agence France-Presse Friday, Jan. 13.
“We got cocky and became arrogant and we also became bullies,” she said. “We were trying to single out a man for all these things he was doing wrong … and that created empathy in a big group of people in America that felt bad for him and that are believing in his promises.”
Many Black stars have spoken out against Trump because of his racist rhetoric. During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and advocated for increased stop-and-frisk policies in Black communities before backing down from the latter.
Rappers were among the most vocal opponents of Trump, including YG, whose song “F— Donald Trump” led police to shut down his video shoot in April. T.I. attended a protest against the 45th U.S. president in November to show his lack of support. The following month, singer John Legend expressed disappointment about Kanye West’s meeting with Trump.
“His message has been corrosive to the country,” the singer-songwriter said to France’s Clique. “I think the things he’s promised to do have been very concerning for a lot of people. And for Kanye to support that message is very disappointing.”
Online, fans expressed their disagreement with Saldana’s assertions based on similar ideas posed by opposing celebrities.
Zoe Saldana said hollywood bullied trump but trump has been bullying people all over the United States
— Imjustinwilson (@Imjustinwilson) January 14, 2017
— Luis Burgos (@Vorykua72) January 14, 2017
@zoesaldana shame on you for supporting Trump. He is a disgusting human being. Misogynist, Racist etc. Can't watch or support your movies.
— Tino (@tinoferns) January 16, 2017
@zoesaldana there is no bigger bully in the world than DJT. He has mocked everyone who doesn't agree with him. What's wrong with you?
— Monday-Mornings (@DhillMonday) January 16, 2017
Others pointed out what seemed to be Saldana’s racial identity issues.
This skank doesn’t even embrace her african american roots! In all her years in hollywood, she has never represented her true self. Bitch!
— Lyn Sauceda (@Lsauceda23) January 16, 2017
Zoe Saldana, so ur defending Donald Trump now, ur the exact opposite of what Nina Simone represented & this is why no 1 wanted u 2 play her pic.twitter.com/PcWJ3UOiXw
— ?♐Skin of Becky♐? (@IKilledBecky) January 14, 2017
Saldana said she doesn’t think Trump’s presidency signals a return to the overt racism of the early 20th century, which saw public officials in the American South proudly admit their associations with the Ku Klux Klan.
“I’m learning from [Trump’s victory] with a lot of humility,” the “Guardians Of The Galaxy” star said. “If we have people continue to be strong and educate ourselves and stand by equal rights and treat everyone with respect, we won’t go back to those times.”