Since the hashtag #MeToo began taking social media by storm in October 2017, countless survivors of sexual harassment and assault have used it to speak out. The conversation surrounding #MeToo even resulted in the downfall of several predatory men, such as Harvey Weinstein, and the women (and men) involved in the movement were named 2017’s Time Person of the Year. But unfortunately, the #MeToo movement’s visibility hasn’t stopped people from mocking it, and now, Donald Trump Jr. is among those doing so.
It started yesterday, May 2nd, when Trump Jr. retweeted conservative commentator Candace Owens using the hashtag #MeToo. Owens recently made headlines when Kanye West tweeted, “I like the way Candace Owens thinks,” in response to her comments against Black Lives Matter. Yesterday, Owens tweeted a Daily Caller article about how support for President Donald Trump was growing among black Americans.
“Black male approval for @realDonaldTrump has doubled over the past week,” Owens wrote in her tweet. “They love the way Candace Owens thinks.”
Trump then retweeted Owens’ commentary, using the same #MeToo shared by thousands of sexual harassment and assault survivors simply to express his agreement.
Twitter users wasted no time clapping back at Trump for co-opting the hashtag.
This isn’t the first time the president’s son has misappropriated #MeToo. In early April, he again used the hashtag to agree with a tweet that “Obama is ‘relieved’ to no longer be president.”
And while it’s not entirely clear whether he genuinely doesn’t understand what the hashtag represents or is just trolling, Trump routinely uses Twitter to mock liberal ideals. On Halloween, he tweeted a picture of his daughter, saying he was going to take half of her trick-or-treating candy to “teach her about socialism.”
Whether intentional or not, Trump’s misuse of #MeToo is deeply insulting to people who have actually experienced sexual harassment or assault. Maybe someday he’ll learn to think before he tweets.