Actor Bill Pullman was not a fan of President Donald Trump's Independence Day parody on Saturday. Pullman played President Thomas J. Whitmore in the sci-fi action movie, and this weekend Trump retweeted a video with his face edited in over Pullman's for his climactic monologue. The actor told The Hollywood Reporter that he did not appreciate the parody.
"My voice belongs to no one but me, and I'm not running for president — this year," Pullman said of the viral video. At the time of this writing, Trump's Independence Day tweet has over 215,000 likes and over 68,000 retweets. However, many were critics posting the video in awe that the president would share something like this during a global crisis. Compared to Pullman, the critics online were much harsher.
"Bill Pullman in INDEPENDENCE DAY got his butt in a jet and actually fought the aliens. We can't even get Trump to wear a mask or not say something stupid for a day," one journalist tweeted. "Please do not disrespect the memory of Bill Pullman's character, MAGA."
Pullman has not stated his political beliefs too publicly throughout his career, though in 2016, he told Variety that he supported Hillary Clinton for president. At the time, he related the presidential race to the sequel that had just come out, Independence Day: Resurgence.
"The message of the [film] is that we can put aside our petty differences and come together as one to overcome serious challenges. And when you think of the challenges we face now — climate change and other issues of extremism — there's no more important time to have a capable leader. And it's human nature than when we need our strongest leaders is when we're most divided over who should lead," he said.
today is a dark day for fans of the hit 1996 film, Independence Day— Lindsay Ellis (@thelindsayellis) May 17, 2020
"There's a great frustration about national identity... Globalization is happening so fast it's confusing for people, and tolerance is threatened," he went on. "All the things we relied on are now adrift. These are as dangerous times as we've had, and the possibility of making wrong choices isn't a joke. We've seen with Brexit and other things that there's a dark impulse to be petulant and frustrated with complicated solutions."
Trump has not commented on the Independence Day controversy since his tweet went up on Saturday afternoon, although the anonymous Twitter user who initially made the video has seen a surge in online engagement. Other stars, creators and studios involved in the movie's creation have yet to comment.