Right-wing media and conservative officials launched unhinged attacks against comedian Benito Skinner (also known as Benny Drama) after he posted a video of his character “Kooper the Gen Z intern” promoting coronavirus vaccines at the White House. Prominent right-wing figures asserted that Skinner’s video was “repulsive on so many levels” and said, “Here’s a great idea to get more people vaccinated: Set a new vaccination goal where, if it’s hit, this guy gets deported.”
In the one-minute video, Skinner parades around the White House grounds, jokingly books press secretary Jen Psaki a nail appointment, and asserts that “we need to get shots in the arms of every single American.” His video is seemingly part of the Biden administration’s campaign enlisting social media influencers to encourage more Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
According to Politico, Skinner said, “We wanted something that could be funny and that both my followers and the White House followers could laugh at, but would also deliver the really important message of getting vaccinated.” Notably, Skinner indicated that he did not get paid for the video.
Right-wing media and figures responded to Skinner’s appearance at the White House with extreme anti-gay attacks and used the video to attack the Biden administration’s vaccination campaign. Here are some of the most unhinged examples:
- During an August 10 Newsmax segment, conservative talk radio host Andrea Kaye claimed that Skinner’s video was meant to “push two agendas on children”: a “cultural Marxist movement” and the “LGBT agenda as well.” Kaye also used the video to argue against public health measures, saying, “Everything that has gone on from the government response to this from the Democrats has had nothing to do with science and everything to do with controlling the minds of Americans, and now it's about controlling the minds of children."
- On Twitter, BlazeTV host Elijah Schaffer called Skinner a “mentally ill, gender confused, narcissistic femboy.”
- National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam tweeted, “This is an actual video from inside the Biden White House. What depraved shit is going on in there?”
- Babylon Bee senior writer Frank J. Fleming tweeted, “Here's a great idea to get more people vaccinated: Set a new vaccination goal where, if it's hit, this guy gets deported.”
- RedState published an article that asserted, “This asinine video is yet more proof that the White House doesn’t care about actually pushing the vaccines.”
- Breitbart posted an article titled “Biden Admin Brings Cross-Dressing TikTok Star to White House to Push COVID Vaccine.”
- Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “Next they’re going to waterboard you till you get vaccinated, though there’s no way that would be worse than watching this!!!”
- Claremont Institute senior fellow David Reaboi wrote, “This is so repulsive on so many levels.”
- Conservative commentator Ned Ryun tweeted, “So cringe and pathetic. And I need eye bleach.”
- Ricochet Editor-in-Chief Jon Gabriel said, “Now i want to unvaccinate myself.”
- Former Fox News host Todd Starnes tweeted, “What in the name of Sweet Moses is going on at the White House?”