As expected, last night’s Emmy Awards was packed full of references to Donald Trump, as host Stephen Colbert repeatedly attacked the President with a series of barbs. But the most shocking moment of Colbert’s performance came when he invited former press secretary Sean Spicer onto the stage.
Towards the end of his monologue, Stephen Colbert remarked, “What really matters to Donald Trump is ratings. You’ve got to have the big numbers. And I certainly hope that we achieve that tonight. Unfortunately, at this point, we have no way of knowing how big our audience is. Is there any way we could say how big our audience is? Sean, do you know?”
At this point Sean Spicer emerged, holding a mock press secretary podium in front of him, which immediately provoked celebrities in the audience to react in shock. Most notably “Veep’s” Anna Chlumsky, while, after portraying him on “Saturday Night Live” so impressively, Melissa McCarthy immediately looked embarrassed, as she knew full well the camera would be on her.
“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys. Period. Both in person, and around the world,” Spicer remarked, as he poked fun at his insistence that Donald Trump’s inauguration was the most watched in history. “Wow. That really soothed my fragile ego. I can understand why [Trump] would want one of these guys around. Melissa McCarthy everybody,” Colbert then quipped. But not everyone saw the funny side.
Trying to normalize Sean Spicer already? #Emmys pic.twitter.com/47SEoUKNfj
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) September 18, 2017
.@seanspicer can normalize himself in good fun, but he still passionately advocated against human rights, health care, & American values
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) September 18, 2017
Harvard fellowships, Emmy appearances, huge speaking fees: there’s just gonna be no penalty for working in Trump’s White House, huh?
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 18, 2017
I’ve reported in 5 conflict zones, wrote a book and still have trouble getting men to take me seriously but Sean Spicer works at Harvard now
— Sulome Anderson (@SulomeAnderson) September 18, 2017
Interesting choice by Emmys to let someone joke about demonstrably lying to the American people on behalf of the most powerful person in US
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) September 18, 2017
Isn’t it funny! Sean Spicer comes out @ #Emmys to lampoon moment he tried intimidating White House press corps over inauguration crowd. Sigh
— Eric Deggans at NPR (@Deggans) September 18, 2017
I’m not ready to laugh “with” Sean Spicer. I think he is an evil, opportunistic liar that hurt our country.
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 18, 2017
It wasn’t just Stephen Colbert that found himself being attacked for his inclusion of Spicer. An image of late night host James Corden kissing Spicer was instantly criticized, too, as the public compared it to the moment Jimmy Fallon ruffled Donald Trump’s hair.
If you were ever on the fence about James Corden… allow me to help you decide pic.twitter.com/udxPyFHmrq
— Jayne Sharp (@Jaynesharp) September 18, 2017
Corden makes Spicer look like a beacon of honour and sincerity. It’s like Kimmel ruffling Trump’s hair all over again: proper enablers
— Hannah (@hanyaLC1) September 18, 2017
Spicer quickly became one of the most popular guests at the Emmys, as he was mobbed for photos from a hoard of individuals.
What pariah? Sean Spicer getting mobbed in #Emmys lobby. Posing for pics, drinking beer, soaking up all attention after onstage appearance pic.twitter.com/WqJpaRtAvK
— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) September 18, 2017
Sean Spicer’s tenure as Donald Trump’s press secretary was populated with frequent gaffes and errors, which included referring to Concentration Camps as “Holocaust Centers,” and insisting that Hitler didn’t “use chemical weapons.” Spicer left his position at the White House in July after just six months.