Sean Spicer’s performance at the Emmys drew criticism from both sides of the political spectrum
Even some of those who supported the former White House press secretary were upset by his appearance.
It’s been a few weeks since Sean Spicer left his role as White House press secretary, bringing to an end a very eventful period.
During that time Spicer was often accused by critics of taking liberties with the truth, starting off from his first day in the job when he claimed Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest ever.
And it was those criticisms he addressed when he was invited on to the Emmys stage by Stephen Colbert.
“This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period! Both in person and around the world!” Spicer said – echoing almost exactly what he said back in January following the inauguration.
The 45-year-old’s presence angered a lot of critics of the Trump administration.
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
.@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
The joke – which some interpreted as Spicer admitting he lied that day – also touched a nerve for CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins.
Is it supposed to be comical that the former White House spokesman is now tacitly admitting that he lied to the American people?— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) September 18, 2017
Some worried that “lines are being blurred”.
Acting like Sean Spicer is just another funny guy is the same blurring of entertainment and politics that led to Trump becoming president.— Murtaza Mohammad Hussain (@MazMHussain) September 18, 2017
But other viewers thought the moment shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
ppl who are upset at sean spicer making fun of himself probably have zero sense of humor— Robyn (@lilmsragerr) September 18, 2017
If you can't enjoy and laugh at Sean Spicer at the Emmy's tonight, you need to lighten up, geez Louise.— Greg Butcher (@GregButcher_) September 18, 2017
Loved Sean Spicer coming out on stage. Took everyone by surprised to say the least. Glad he has a great sense of humor #Emmys— Albana Farias-Besada (@aefrb) September 18, 2017
Spicer entered the stage behind a moving podium, referencing Melissa McCarthy’s parody of him for Saturday Night Live.
McCarthy was in the crowd and looked just as surprised as everyone else to see the man she played for months appear on stage.
But Spicer also faced a reaction from the other end of the political spectrum.
Trump supporter Mark Dice, a YouTuber who describes himself as a “media analyst exposing fake news”, labelled the former White House employee a “traitor”.
And his followers mostly agreed.
I found it appalling when he mentioned crowd size! 9— C. Somer 🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@cindy_csomer37) September 18, 2017
The TV awards show featured many moments which referenced Spicer’s former employer, including winners’ speeches by Donald Glover, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.
Alec Baldwin, who won supporting actor in a comedy for his portrayal of Trump on SNL, said: “I suppose I should say, at long last, Mr President, here is your Emmy,” referencing Trump’s claim that, because The Apprentice has never won an Emmy, the awards show is rigged.
Baldwin said backstage that most people in the entertainment industry were “very grateful for (Spicer) to have a sense of humour”.
He added that Spicer was “obviously compelled to do certain things that we might not have respected or we might not have admired, we might have been super critical of, in order to do his job. But I’ve done some jobs that are things you shouldn’t admire or respect me for either.”