Donald Trump Jr. was quickly shut down after weighing in on the controversy that erupted after movie star Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock during Sunday night's Academy Awards telecast.
Trump Jr. suggested that Smith, who assaulted Rock on camera in what appeared to be a move to defend his wife, the actress Jada Pinkett Smith, following a crass joke from the comedian about his wife's baldness, was merely "acting like the tough guy rather than being one."
He later followed up that tweet with another decrying the fact that Smith was allowed to return to his seat–and later accept his Academy Award–rather than be ejected following the altercation.
Trump Jr., with no sense of irony whatsoever, asked about what "kind of privilege is it when you can assault someone on national television" only to then "win an Oscar rather than go to jail."
These statements did not go over well with Trump Jr.'s critics, who pointed out that his father, former President Donald Trump, has been long reviled for avoiding consequences for any number of ethics violations and alleged crimes.
In particular, Trump notoriously dodged convictions in the Senate for impeachable offenses outlined during two separate impeachment trials, including once for threatening to withhold vital aid from Ukraine if it didn't investigate his political opponents, and another for his actions leading up to the January 6 insurrection, when a mob of his supporters stormed the United States Capitol on the false premise the 2020 general election had been stolen.
Trump also ignited a national conversation about racial and class privilege when he was still elected to the executive office despite the controversy that followed a leaked Access Hollywood videotape from 2005 in which he appeared to advocate and admit to sexual assault and his vow to file lawsuits against women who've accused him of sexual misconduct.
Interestingly, Trump Jr.'s statements came the same day a federal judge ruled that his father “more likely than not” committed felonies by trying to obstruct Congress and conspiring to defraud the United States in pushing the lie that then-candidate Joe Biden was not the rightful winner.
Many have criticized Trump Jr. in the wake of his remarks and once again spotlighted his father's history of offenses, which include sexual assault and financial malfeasance, to say nothing of inciting an insurrection against Congress.
Smith has faced heavy criticism following his assault of Rock, who has declined to press charges. Video of the incident, which many stunned viewers initially believed had been scripted, has been viewed millions of times.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has condemned Smith's actions and announced it will conduct a formal review of the matter "in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”