Actor Ricky Schroder is under fire for his overt support of Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager accused of murdering two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was caught on camera prowling Kenosha's protests back in August with an assault rifle illegally in his hands. Fans of Schroder's work on shows like NYPD Blue and Silver Spoons are questioning why he would help pay Rittenhouse's bail.
Rittenhouse's friends and family crowdfunded a staggering $2 million for his bail, which he paid last week. According to a report by USA Today, Rittenhouse was released on Friday afternoon. He then posed for a photo with Schroder and some of the other stars who helped signal-boost his fund-raising campaign. Schroder donated to the cause and encouraged fans to do the same, disappointing many fans in the process.
Rittenhouse still faces allegations of killing 26-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum and 26-year-old Anthony Huber and wounding 22-year-old Gaige Grosskreutz. He may also face charges for carrying an AR-15-style rifle openly while underage and for traveling across state lines with it just to attend the protest. Rittenhouse was with a militia-style group of counter-protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally in Kenosha, following the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.
"In America, we are ALL innocent until a jury of peers decides guilt or innocence, not the Mob or Press," Schroder tweeted about Rittenhouse. "When the facts are known, many of you will owe this young man an Apology."
Given that Rittenhouse was caught on camera several times during the fateful Kenosha demonstrations, many fans doubted Schroder's assessment. Here is a look at what they had to say about his support for Rittenhouse.
I suppose all the videos of Rittenhouse shooting 3 unarmed protestors, murdering 2 of those were fake?— Shy Suzn Resists🌊💙🗽🇺🇲✡️ (@suzn119) November 22, 2020
Or, how about a minor crossing state lines with an illegally obtained firearm?
Many fans doubted Schroder's assurance that Rittenhouse would be proven completely innocent given the apparent evidence against him. They questioned how the actor could stand by Rittenhouse with all that evidence to the contrary.prevnext
Funny cuz the #BlackLivesMatter movement is about black men being disproportionately killed by police... You know, INNOCENT black men that will never see a courtroom cuz the police killed them... Fook you, loser!! https://t.co/T4rp3zsEj1— 🦄⚡️💎💙☯️ Empathetic Golgi Apparatus ☯️ 💙 💎⚡️🦄 (@Empath_g_app) November 22, 2020
Several followers pointed out that the Black Lives Matter movement itself is about justice, much like the kind Schroder was calling for in his post about Rittenhouse.prevnext
This is disgusting...white kid gets donated $2 million. If he were black would you have done the same? https://t.co/BKtsmWKrR4— Draco Falcon (@draco_falcon) November 22, 2020
Many fans doubted that Schroder and others would have supported Rittenhouse as vehemently if he had been Black, or if he had been on the other side of this divisive debate.prevnext
Commenters directed middle finger emojis at Schroder, and other public figures who helped fund Rittenhouse's massive bail payment. Some were actually fearful about the idea of Rittenhouse being back on the streets.prevnext
As a kid and an actor I admired and looked up to you. This is heartbreaking. This kid killed people and you are taking pictures with him. Shameful and disgusting Ricky. Why? https://t.co/GV6jagftMI— Timothy Dowling (@TimothyDowling) November 22, 2020
Many of the commenters on Schoder's post let him know that they were once big fans, but said that his extreme politics have pushed them away. They wondered why Schroder would go so far to defend Rittenhouse.prevnext
Am I the only one who thinks @rickyschroder13 is a bigger part of this moving picture? Moved to Parler on the 17th, urging everyone to do the same. Lin Wood (of truth bomb fame) seems to be a fan. https://t.co/GxCJXQ2SFE pic.twitter.com/w5OQp8cr7p— Charlie S (@villagenyc123) November 22, 2020
Some speculated that Schroder played an even bigger role in Rittenhouse's release than the public realized, noting how much more politically outspoken he has become recently. Schroder has been encouraging fans to switch to the social media app Parler, a controversial alternative to Facebook and Twitter which promises not to fact-check conservative talking points in the same way.prevnext
Ricky Schroders own daughter slammed him for the fine human being he isn't not that long ago so...as disappointing as it is I guess he is exactly who she described— heather helms (@hhelms65) November 22, 2020
Finally, fans noted that Schroder's controversial politics have put him at odds with his own family, in addition to a huge section of his fan base. They were sad to see him supporting Rittenhouse so publicly.prev