Social media erupted in angry debate Monday night over a brief meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and actor Vince Vaughn after the two were caught on video chatting and shaking hands at a college football game.
The incident happened in the stands of a stadium in New Orleans while Louisiana State and Clemson were playing for the national college football championship. Trump received a warm reception from the crowd earlier in the night.
One video of the encounter shows Vaughn and the president exchanging a few words over first lady Melania Trump, who is sitting between them. Vaughn speaks, Trump nods, then Trump offers his hand and Vaughn shakes it before getting up. Republican Representative Steve Scalise then leans in to shake Vaughn’s hand just before the actor leaves.
The video appears to be shot from afar, and it’s unclear what Vaughn and Trump said to each other. The clip has been watched more than 4.9 million times since it was posted on Twitter late Monday.
The clip ignited an intense Twitter debate over politics, cancel culture and the divisive state of American society in 2020.
Many Trump critics announced they were finished with Vaughn and his movies.
“I no longer am a fan of Vince Vaughn,” user April Bettie Page wrote.
“I’m not angry about Vince Vaughn, just profoundly disappointed,” said Stephanie Kennedy. “I want nothing more to do with him. Once upon a time I found him quite entertaining. Not anymore.”
Several seemingly pro-Trump users ridiculed the idea of “cancelling” Vaughn for interacting with the president.
“Vince Vaughn just went up a few notches in my book,” user Kelly Avery Frye tweeted. “Imagine being cordial and polite to our President! Gasp!”
Trump’s re-election campaign shared the clip in an effort to drum up more money for his 2020 run.
The clip also drew a predictable mix of extreme comments from both sides of the political spectrum, with users attacking “the left” and “the right” with all kinds of accusations.
Others simply mocked the entire outrage cycle.
“Wait, hasn’t Vince Vaughn ALWAYS been a conservative?” wrote comic book writer Gail Simone. “Why is everyone surprised?”
Vaughn has described himself as a Republican and a libertarian in the past, but the actor has not come out to stump for Trump like other right-leaning actors, such as Jon Voight or James Woods.
Vaughn has been more likely to appear at sporting events than political rallies over the years. He was a fixture in the stands when his hometown Chicago Blackhawks were winning Stanley Cups in the 2010s.
Former Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Kristy Swanson came to Vaughn’s defence on Twitter, where she hailed him for his interest in Nascar racing.
“Why are all you Leftist Freaks so Upset & Shocked that Vince would have manners & show respect to @realDonaldTrump our POTUS?” she tweeted.
Twitter user @Lenakaye75 sought to find a middle road through the mess.
“I did not vote for Barack Obama but I’d have dinner with him,” she wrote. “I would shake his hand and take a bullet for our former nation’s leader as it is every American’s duty. Seriously? Why is there such a divide?”Follow @JoshKElliott
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