Brow Beat

The President Is Mad at Debra Messing

Debra Messing on a Paley Center red carpet.
Public Enemy No. 1, until something shiny on Fox News catches the President’s attention.
John Lamparski/Getty Images

As a Category 5 hurricane slow-walks its way toward the east coast and the nation reels in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting and the predictably appalling response from right-wingers, President Donald Trump summoned all his gravitas, rose to the moment, and addressed the country to discuss an urgent issue of national importance: Whether or not actress Debra Messing was a phony who pretends to like people, but then the second those people leave the room, get elected president, and start kidnapping children, she starts talking shit. This really happened! He really tweeted this!

The president, like many of his followers, is concerned that the donors who are funding and supporting his murderous, crooked, deranged, racist political movement might face social or professional consequences for *squints at page* funding and supporting a murderous, crooked, deranged, racist political movement. On Friday, Messing, responding to a Hollywood Reporter story about a Trump fundraiser planned for Beverly Hills on Sept. 17 suggested that the public might be interested in knowing who was spending good money to force us all through four more years of this bullshit:

That was all it took for Trump to decide it was time for a Hollywood storytime hour about how beloved he was back when he was the star of a reality television show, based entirely on the evidence that one of his coworkers said something nice to him at a work function once. We are all Mikhail Gorbachev in this old Saturday Night Live sketch now, except worse, because Ronald Reagan at least knew a few show business stories about people who weren’t Ronald Reagan:

Documentation of the NBC upfronts in the aughts is hard to find: Messing and Trump both attended them, but if there’s B-roll party footage of the Will & Grace star calling Trump “sir,” presumably while weeping with gratitude, it doesn’t seem to be online. But here’s something that is well-documented: It remains very legal and very cool to see for yourself which of your friends and neighbors has gone MAGA: Go to https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/ and search by zip code for the election cycle of your choice. Alternatively, just look for the blood on their hands—by this point it’s well past their elbows.

Update, Sept. 1: Messing has responded with an Instagram and Twitter post thanking people online for their support, saying that she would like to “communicate more directly,” and inviting them to text her at (646) 766-1007.

Texts sent to that number are answered with this autoreply:

Hey it’s Debra! this is an autotext to let you know I got your message, everything else will be from me! Make sure you click the link and add yourself to my phone so I can respond to you 🙏🎉👍🏻

The link that follows allows the user to sign up to get text messages from Debra Messing through Community, a company designed to help “community leaders build real relationships with community members” through text messaging. Some of those messages, per the disclaimer on the sign-up page, may be marketing goods and services, and although the about page says user privacy is “not for sale,” the privacy policy explicitly gives the company the right to share users’ personal information, including their name, birthdate, phone number, and email address, to third parties “with whom we have marketing or other relationships for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes.” On the other hand: Debra Messing!