Jeong and Thicke walked off when Giuliani was revealed - GulfToday

Jeong and Thicke walked off when Giuliani was revealed


Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke.

Jamie Davis Smith, The Independent

When Trump ally Rudy Giuliani held a bizarre press conference in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia questioning Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, that should have been the end of his career. His actions both during and after Trump’s presidency posed a clear threat to American democracy.

However, instead of denying him a platform, the producers of Fox’s The Masked Singer invited the former New York City mayor to perform this week. Two judges, Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke, walked off the stage in the protest after Giuliani’s identity was revealed.

Throughout the Trump administration, Giuliani was a key ally to Trump. He remained loyal to the president even as the former president enacted policies that separated families and sought to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which provides millions of Americans with access to healthcare.

Yet, Giuliani’s role in the Trump administration was never clear. Trump used Giuliani as his personal attorney, but never appointed him to any official government role. Nevertheless, Giuliani became enmeshed in political scandals.

He reportedly served as a self-appointed envoy to Ukraine, engaging in shadow diplomacy. He spearheaded an investigation into the current president’s son Hunter Biden, with the intent to discredit and undermine Joe Biden.

A key witness in Trump’s first impeachment trial in 2019, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, is currently suing Giuliani for conducting a “concerted campaign of unlawful intimidation”.

In an op-ed outlining his reasoning, Lt. Col. Vindman wrote: “We can’t have a functional government or healthy democracy if witnesses can’t testify, and if federal officials can’t do their jobs, without fear of payback.”

Giuliani’s efforts to undermine democracy do not end there. After Trump lost the 2020 election, Giuliani used his fame and platform to push dangerous conspiracy theories about the results.

He made multiple false claims alleging widespread voter fraud. On January 6, 2021, the day pro-Trump insurrections stormed the Capitol with the intent to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to Joe Biden, Giuliani repeated those false claims, and was later suspended from practicing law in New York as a result. He encouraged violence by stating, “Let’s have trial by combat.” Tragically, at least seven people died either during or soon after the insurrection.

Considering this context, it’s pretty clear that the producers of The Masked Singer acted irresponsibly in providing Giuliani with a platform again. Giuliani’s actions both during and after the Trump administration were not just abhorrent, but traitorous. There is nothing cute or amusing about his actions. He does not deserve a spot among B-list celebrities who benefit from the increased public attention and PR bump they gain from being on the show.

Giuliani needs to be held accountable for actions, not given a pass. Given the role he played in inciting an uprising against the United States government, it is dangerous and irresponsible to help him rehabilitate his image as if nothing happened. Indeed, using Giuliani as fodder for prime-time entertainment is an insult to the families who lost loved ones in the insurrection of January 6th. It’s an insult to all of those who care about upholding democracy and the rule of law.

Jeong and Thicke have not yet commented publicly about why they walked off the set once Giuliani was unmasked. However, it is easy to understand why they felt the need to do so, and why they would not want to be affiliated with Giuliani in any way. The impact of Giuliani’s actions is still palpable and the threat to American democracy that he helped foster is real.

Giuliani does not deserve to be on prime-time television unless that time is being used to try to atone for the harm he has caused. Jeong and Thicke deserve our thanks for taking a stand.

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