Katie Hobbs' Press Aide Resigns After Backlash To Trans-Rights Gun Meme
The press secretary for Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs of Arizona has resigned after sharing a meme some interpreted as suggesting that guns be drawn against people who are transphobic.
Josselyn Berry faced heavy backlash from Republicans after posting a GIF of actor Gena Rowlands in the movie “Gloria” brandishing two guns. “Us when we see transphobes,” the caption read.
The post came hours after a shooter identified by police as transgender killed six people at a school in Nashville, Tennessee.
Josselyn Berry's tweet drew heavy criticism from the Arizona GOP.
On Wednesday, the governor’s office issued a statement saying Hobbs had “received and accepted the resignation of the Press Secretary.”
Earlier, the right-wing Arizona Freedom Caucus of state legislators had demanded that Berry be fired. “Calling for violence like this is un-American & never acceptable,” the organization tweeted. In calling for Berry’s resignation, state Sen. Anthony Kern (R), who deems himself “Trump-endorsed,” said the entry was “massively disturbing.”
“I don’t think anyone, no matter your political leanings, would look at that tweet — any sane, professional person would look at that tweet and say, ‘This is how I want one of the top advisers to the governor of my state to conduct themselves,’” Daniel Scarpinato, a former chief of staff for ex-GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, told The Arizona Republic.
Republican Kari Lake, who lost the 2022 gubernatorial election to Hobbs and denied the results, wrote on Twitter: “If a conservative made light of a mass shooting & called for more violence, they’d be personally & professionally destroyed.”
The newspaper noted that Berry, whose Twitter account is currently private, wrote earlier Monday about trans rights. If “you work in the progressive community and are transphobic, you’re not progressive,” she wrote. The context behind that tweet was unclear, the Republic noted.
A respondent wrote “not sure these transphobic-from-the-left posers know who they’re messing with,” prompting Berry’s controversial gun tweet, according to the Republic.
Prominent conservatives have been using the shooting to spoutanti-trans rhetoric. Hobbs has been seeking to expand protections for LGBTQ people against stiff opposition.
HuffPost was unable to immediately reach Hobbs or Berry.