LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — Several Hollywood celebrities have been called out on social media for their takes on violent protests that ultimately forced the cancellation of a planned speech by polarizing Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley.
Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, and Debra Messing were among those who sounded off on social media just as
protesters dressed in black and some in hooded sweatshirts broke windows, threw smoke bombs and flares at a building and set a large bonfire outside the building where Yiannopoulos was set to speak.
“This is just the beginning”, Apatow wrote. “When will all the fools who are still supporting Trump realize what is at stake?”
Apatow later deleted the tweet and seemed to walk back his statement “because it was vague.”
Silverman, who tweeted as the protests were trending on social media, appeared to call for a military coup against the Trump administration, writing, “Once the military is with us, the fascists get overthrown”.
In a retweet of UC Berkeley’s announcement that Yiannopolous’ speech was canceled, Messing weighed in with the hashtags “#Resist” and “#NeverStop” as the protests grew increasingly violent.
Early Thursday morning, Trump appeared to threaten to cut off Berkeley’s federal funding if the school “does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view”.
Yiannopoulos – a gay, Jewish editor for Breitbart, which was formerly run by controversial Trump aide Steve Bannon – was on the last stop of a tour aimed at defying what he calls an epidemic of political correctness on college campuses.
He released a video late Wednesday letting his supporters know he and his team were unharmed during the melee.
“One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down”, he said in a Facebook post after the riots.
His visit to Berkeley was sponsored by the campus Republican club.
Several of Yiannopoulous’ talks at UC Davis and other campuses have been canceled due to protests or security concerns.
Critics of Yiannopoulous’ cancellation pointed to Berkeley’s decision to allow Nation Of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to speak on campus in 2012, a move that also sparked protests but was defended by UC President Mark Yudof.
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