8 times Trump clashed with Hollywood

Isobel Lewis and Ellie Harrison
·5 min read
Trump has feuded with a number of Hollywood figures since he was elected (Rex Features)
Trump has feuded with a number of Hollywood figures since he was elected (Rex Features)

In the four years since he was elected US president, Donald Trump has engaged in plenty of feuds with high-profile figures.

With Trump’s presidency being a hot topic in everything from print interviews to talk shows and award ceremonies, it’s not been surprising to see celebrities such as Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt use the opportunity to criticise the politician.

But as a prolific tweeter, Trump has rarely been one to miss an opportunity to shoot back in response, growing a narrative in which he is the antidote to the “Hollywood liberal elite” and a president of the people.

Here are eight of Trump’s biggest Hollywood feuds...

Trump vs Meryl Streep

Taking place between Trump’s election and his inauguration, the 2017 Golden Globe award ceremony saw multiple actors take aim at the president. Among those was Streep, who launched into a lengthy criticism of the president. In response, Trump dismissed the acclaimed actor as “a Hillary lover”, initially commenting that he was “not surprised” by “liberal movie people” attacking his character. He later shared a series of tweets criticising the actor, claiming that the 21-time Oscar nominee was “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood”.

Trump vs Parasite

Earlier this year, Parasite made history when it became the first non-English-language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. One man who could not bring himself to celebrate this was Donald Trump. At one of his rallies, he said: “The winner is a movie from South Korea. What the hell was that all about? We got enough problems with South Korea with trade.” He also called for the return of films such as Gone With the Wind, which has been accused of racism. Parasite’s distributor, Neon, responded to Trump by suggesting his comments stemmed from his inability to read subtitles. “Understandable, he can’t read,” Neon tweeted, sharing a clip of Trump’s rant.

Trump vs Spike Lee

Over the years, filmmaker Lee has been a vocal critic of Trump’s, but it was his comments during the 2019 Academy Awards that viewers should “make the moral choice between love versus hate” that prompted a response from the president. He accused the director via Twitter of “doing his racist hit on your president”, but that didn’t stop Lee from continuing to criticise the president, including recently alleging that Trump has “KKK-like tendencies”.

Lee has criticised Trump on multiple occasionsGetty Images
Lee has criticised Trump on multiple occasionsGetty Images

Trump vs Debra Messing

Debra Messing and her Will & Grace co-star Eric McCormack caught Trump’s attention after they called for Hollywood to blacklist people attending a fundraiser for the president. “Bad ‘actress’ Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water,” tweeted Trump. “She wants to create a ‘Blacklist’ of Trump supporters.” He also claimed Messing had once “profusely thanked” him for saving NBC by agreeing to front The Apprentice. “How times have changed,” he wrote.

Trump vs Sacha Baron-Cohen

Baron-Cohen had previously taken a satirical look at Trump’s America in TV seriesWho Is America?, but it was his recently released Borat sequel that the president for its controversial appearance by his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Claiming that Baron-Cohen had tried to prank him in the past, Trump commented: “That's a phoney guy. And I don’t find him funny. To me, he was a creep.” Baron-Cohen shot back: “Donald – I appreciate the free publicity for Borat! I admit I don’t find you funny either. But yet the whole world laughs at you.” He added: “I’m always looking for people to play racist buffoons, and you’ll need a job after 20 January. Let’s talk!”

Trump vs “lowest-rated” Oscars

It’s challenging enough to get into a feud with one other celebrity, but a whole awards ceremony’s worth is a seriously impressive feat. During the 2018 Academy Awards, in which The Shape of Water and Dunkirk were the big winners, Trump took offence to the repeated criticism of him by host Jimmy Kimmel and the night’s winners, in response calling them the “lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY” on Twitter. He added: “Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore - except your President (just kidding, of course)!”

Trump vs Robert De Niro

At the 2018 Tony Awards, Robert De Niro used his speech to criticise the president. “I’m gonna say one thing,” he said. “F*** Trump.” He then raised both fists in the air as he received a raucous standing ovation from the audience. Trump was not happy. In a Twitter outburst, Trump called the actor “a very low IQ individual” before suggesting he had “received too many shots to the head by real boxers in movies”. He added: “I watched him last night and truly believe he may be ‘punch-drunk’. I guess he doesn’t realise the economy is the best it’s ever been with employment being at an all-time high, and many companies pouring back into our country. Wake up Punchy!”

Trump vs Brad Pitt

During his acceptance speech at the 2020 Oscars for his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt made a point about Trump's impeachment trial. Referring to Republican senators refusing to hear potentially explosive evidence from former national security adviser John Bolton, Pitt said: “They told me I only have 45 seconds up here ... which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week.” In response, at one of his rallies, a disgruntled Trump said: “Brad Pitt – I was never a big fan of his. He got up with his little wiseguy statement. Little wiseguy! He's a little wiseguy.”