(TMU) — Comedian George Lopez is facing calls from conservatives for his arrest after he jokingly commented on an Instagram post that he could meet an alleged $80 million Iranian bounty on President Trump by half.
The comedian, who has made no secret of his opposition to the Republican president, was responding to a post by Instagram account Chicano World Star about false reports carried by mainstream news outlets that Iran had offered an $80 million bounty on Trump’s head.
“We’ll do it for half.”
The comment quickly received hundreds of replies, with many enjoying the joke and others feeling that Lopez making light of the hypothetical killing of Trump should be an arrestable offense.
George Lopez’s short comment quickly scandalized conservative media outlets and social networks, with reports from right-wing newspapers Washington Times, Breitbart, and Washington Examiner stoking outrage against the outspoken Mexican-American comedian.
“@SecretService should take a look at this … The Left is sick.”
George Lopez just said he’d assassinate President Trump for half of the $80 million dollar bounty.@SecretService should take a look at this.
The Left is sick. pic.twitter.com/hNCsMwOTrV
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) January 5, 2020
On Twitter, various users began using the hashtag #ArrestGeorgeLopez while also tagging the Secret Service in their posts. It appears unclear whether the users took Lopez’s comment literally.
The Secret Service needs to go to this violent lunatic’s house and arrest him. https://t.co/iBvgMBhfH9
— Wayne Dupree 🎙🎥 (@WayneDupreeShow) January 6, 2020
In a caption for a videotaped rant posted to Twitter, Conservative comedian Terrence K. Williams wrote:
“George Lopez said he would assassinate President Trump for bounty money. We have a duty to report any threats or violence against the President, his family or anyone in his administration.”
PLEASE REPORT GEORGE LOPEZ
George Lopez said he would assassinate President Trump for bounty money.
We have a duty to report any threats or violence against the President, his family or anyone in his administration.
PLEASE RT & tag @SecretService
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) January 6, 2020
Far-right gadfly Charlie Kirk also issued a breathless demand for law enforcement to intervene in the supposedly “deadly threat.”
Other users felt that the outrage was a clear double standard, and that no such hue and cry had been raised in similar comments about Democratic politicians like former President Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.
— SSGT 🇺🇸DISABLED VET USAF🇺🇸❌ (@bobsacard) January 6, 2020
Twitter user @BigWinInTx raised the fact that guitarist Ted Nugent had previously ranted that Obama should “suck on my machine gun.” Noting that the comedian was simply plying his trade—joking—the user wrote:
“Man, I can’t believe George Lopez made a joke… I mean, it’s not like he stood onstage and threatened the president AND Secretary Of State, right? I mean, if anyone dared do that, they should’ve been arrested within hours, right? Right?? #ArrestGeorgeLopez”
Man, I can’t believe George Lopez made a joke…
I mean, it’s not like he stood onstage and threatened the president AND Secretary Of State, right?
I mean, if anyone dared do that, they should’ve been arrested within hours, right?
— Big Win (@BigWinInTx) January 6, 2020
The controversial comment, along with the original post it was replying to, has since been removed.
The alleged “bounty” has also been debunked. According to reports, no such bounty has been offered by authorities in Iran. Instead, Al Arabiya reports that a eulogist and private citizen had suggested that 80 million Iranians pool their money for a bounty by contributing one dollar each for whoever “brings us [Trump’s] head.”
Trumpers are outraged over comedian George Lopez's joke-Trumpers want PC comedy when it comes to their side but applaud non comedians like Ted Nugent who called for killing President Obama who was then later rewarded for threatening Obama by being welcomed to Trump White House pic.twitter.com/40BDg3O0jz
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) January 6, 2020
Since Trump began his successful bid to be elected president, George Lopez has been vocal about his opposition to the former reality television star. The comedian has even led chants of “**** that puto”—puto means “whore” in Spanish—at his live shows.
While the controversy over the professional comedian continues to swirl online, it remains unlikely that Lopez will face the death penalty for treason—or any other major criminal penalties—for his offhand comment.
As Law & Crime blog explains:
“Lopez is a professional comedian long-known for making ethnic jokes precisely like the one in his Instagram comment. Furthermore, the context in which the statement was uttered is relevant. A comment made on social media – a forum in which jokes are commonplace—is less likely to be deemed a ‘threat’ than the same comment made in other contexts. Finally, plenty of folks on social media did get Lopez’s joke—demonstrating that there is ample evidence that a reasonable person might not have interpreted the comment as a threat.
Bottom line: it’s possible that Lopez’s comment might be deemed an illegal ‘threat,’ but given the context, it’s pretty unlikely. Reasonable people can certainly disagree as to whether a joke is funny or appropriate—but even a bad joke isn’t a threat under the law.”
as a citizen of the United states of America am calling for the immediate arrest of Mr. George Lopez for treason and soliciting for the murder of the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
this is a request for citizens arrest.
— tb (@allbritellc) January 6, 2020