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Celebrities React: White Nationalist Charlottesville Protest, Alt-Right UVA Rally

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Charlottesville Reaction

By Shari Weiss |

Charlottesville Reaction

(Getty Images)

Celebrities are reacting to the white nationalist protest in Charlottesville and the alt-right rally at UVA. See reaction from Twitter below.

On Friday night, dozens of torch-carrying white nationalists marched across the University of Virginia’s campus, chanting about “white pride” and “white lives matter.” Videos and photos show a number of people making the “heil Hitler” salute and wearing Nazi regalia. They gathered in advance of Saturday’s “Unite The Right” rally, where thousands are expected to protest against Charlottesville’s attempts to cut ties with its Confederate past.

Many on social media likened last night’s gathering, which was condemned by the Charlottesville mayor, to a Ku Klux Klan march, and there are fears about what will go down today. Among those commenting about the situation are a variety of notable names, including Alyssa Milano, who deemed Friday’s protest an example of “Trump’s America.” Mark Ruffalo cracked, “Got the ole fashioned Nazi feeling don’t it?” Katie Couric called it “a chilling scene.” And Piper Perabo told followers, “I just donated to @naacp & Charlottesville Pride @cvillepride. I am outraged at what happened last night. Counter protest march link below.”

Andy Richter ripped the participants as “human race traitors,” while Rosie O’Donnell said it was evidence of “THE TRUMP EFFECT.” She added, “#25thAmendmentNow #stopTRUMP.” Debra Messing retweeted the activist DeRay McKesson, who argued, “If black folks were carrying torches on a college campus right now the administration would’ve already called the National Guard.” Kristen Bell replied to him, “Sad and true.” Chelsea Clinton took note of a tweet that said of the white protesters, “Imagine if these people ever faced actual oppression.” She added to it, “This. All of this.” In response to some of the chants, Jeremy Piven quipped, “That sounds reasonable … oh wait.”

“Dingleberries chanting ‘white lives matter’ while flashing the Nazi salute – @realDonaldTrump’s base. Show your whole selves,” tweeted Jeffrey Wright. Eliza Dusku expressed, “Sick sick sick sick good god this is sick.” Soledad O’Brien shared photos of the small group of students who stood in a counter-protest, writing, “This group of teens at the center of this rally. I’m so afraid for them, and so proud they exist. Thank you.” And Judd Apatow retweeted New York Times staffer Erin McCann, who insisted, “Listen, when they’re carrying torches and chanting about white pride, ‘alt-right’ isn’t the word you’re looking for.” Rosie Perez also tweeted, “We all wanted to believed USA was past #HatefulRacistViolentProtests-Yet here we are Again! Hope ppl of #Charlottesville are protected today.”

Couric attended the rally on Saturday to cover it for her upcoming National Geographic series. “A woman just came up to me and said “I guess neo-Nazis are at least a diversion from nuclear annihilation” #whataworld #scary,” she posted on Twitter, later revealing, “Two of my producers just got sprayed with urine. Lovely. Hard to keep your cool.” Couric wrote in another tweet, “Overheard: One guy saying ‘this makes me feel like going home and putting my robe on.’ And I don’t think he’s a judge. #Charlottesville.”

Taran Killam retweeted a photo from the scene that showed “faith groups at Emancipation park singing ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ near “white supremacists chanting ‘blood and soil.'” But as the two sides clashed, Seth Rogen tweeted, “By the way, f*ck these nazi motherfuckers. #Charlottesville.” Emmy Rossum wrote, “Neo Nazis are beating clergymen in Charlottesville this morning and Trump is silent.” William Shatner said, “Crazy day filled with hate. What is wrong with people?” And Pete Wentz wrote in a series of tweets, “What if I told you I wore the shirts of a band, quoted them, went to their concerts, talked about them online, espoused their beliefs, hung out with others that were fans of the band, collected their old merchandise, etc- but then claimed I was not a fan of the band?”

“If u quote Hitler, wear swastikas, hang out w/ nazis, march w/ nazis, wear white power symbols, espouse nazi beliefs, then to me you are a nazi. not super hard to figure out,” he said. Rob Reiner stressed, “Let’s be clear. The hatred we’re seeing in Virginia lies at the feet of Donald Trump. Stoked during the campaign, his silence condones this.” Sunny Hostin said, “I’m wondering when we will hear from @POTUS about the Unite Right rally and State of Emergency in Charlottesville, VA.” But Josh Charles tweeted, “Remember even if POTUS does finally speak out against the events in #Charlottesville he doesn’t actually give a sh*t. Actions, not words.”

After a state of emergency was declared, First Lady Melania Trump spoke out, tweeting, “Our country encourages freedom of speech, but let’s communicate w/o hate in our hearts. No good comes from violence. #Charlottesville.” At the time, President Trump still had not commented. And Milano asked, “Hey, you going to comment on this, @realdonaldtrump? #AltReich #Charlottesviille.” Clinton said, “Mr. President?” Mario Batali wondered, “anybody got comment? presidential family? this should be a lay up #leadus? @POTUS @FLOTUS @IvankaTrump @DonaldJTrumpJr.” In a message retweeted by Minka Kelly, Beau Willimon wrote, “Every Congressperson who fails to denounce the supremacists in #Charlottesville & who does not condemn Trump’s silence, is complicit in hate.”

“Hell of a day for the President to forget how to tweet,” stated J.K. Rowling. Former president Bill Clinton tweeted, “Even as we protect free speech and assembly, we must condemn hatred, violence and white supremacy. #Charlottesville.” Hillary Clinton said, “My heart is in Charlottesville today, and with everyone made to feel unsafe in their country.” Sarah Silverman cracked of the protesters, “These people are really upset. They should go back to their countries. #WeAreAllImmigrants.” Tom Arnold tweeted to “Apprentice” producer Mark Burnett, “Buddy @realDonaldTrump is responsible for creating this because of your good intentions. We can help. #Charlottesville #TAPE.”

As 1:19 p.m., Trump finally tweeted, “We ALL must be united & condemn all that hate stands for. There is no place for this kind of violence in America. Lets come together as one!” But the violence continued, as did the online criticism. Sophia Bush said, “Took nearly a week off the Internet to take a true break for the first time in my life. Not a fun place to come back to today. #CondemnHate.” Commented John Legend, “We have nazi sympathizers and white nationalists in the White House. Condemn them too. They should not be receiving taxpayer money.”

“Is this America now? We cannot let this stand. #Charlottesville,” said Ellen DeGeneres. And Josh Groban told the protesters, “Your voices will get hoarse. Your torches will run out of fuel. And you will crawl back into your intolerant nothingness. #Charlottesville.” Camila Cabello tweeted, “this is horrifying…. hatred, racism and violence have no place in our society… this is not America.” Mandy Moore said, “My [heart] is w the good people of #Charlottesville, the peaceful protestors & victims of this horrific act. What a devastating & shameful day.”

Posted Sarah Hyland, “The US has remained a very scary place to live in and it’s just getting worse. “Land of the Free…as long as you’re a straight white male.” Olivia Wilde noted her mote is running for Congress in Virginia, and shared her “message to the people of Charlottesville regarding this hideous display of hatred.” Arsenio Hall observed, “News headline looks like a flashback from 1960. Hmmmmmm, this doesn’t feel ‘great again’! I do see the ‘again’ part coming on tho. #virginia.” And in response to a car plowing through a crowd of counter-protesters, Patton Oswalt exclaimed, “Oh my God. Holy f*ck what is happening in #Charlottesville.” Zendaya also called the intentional crash an act of “terrorism.”

And Lady Gaga urged fans, “I know we are not created to hate each other, but to help & love. Use hashtag #BeKind #ThisIsNotUS to tweet positive messages.” She added, “Tweet @realDonaldTrump & tell him how you think he could #BeKind and be a better leader. #ThisIsNotUS #BeKind #Charlottesville #POTUS.” Click to see celebrity reaction to Trump’s response to the ongoing situation, which he gave on Saturday afternoon.

 


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