It was English television’s biggest night, and while there were many great moments in 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards worth celebrating, one instance completely took everyone by surprise, if not shock. As award host, Stephen Colbert began taking a jibe at Donald Trump in his opening Emmy monologue, highlighting how American politics have become an integral part of television, criticising the POTUS’ tweeting habit — it was something everyone predicted. But what happened next completely blew everyone’s minds.
“We know that the biggest TV star is Donald Trump … and Alec Baldwin, obviously,” Colbert said, referring to Baldwin’s iconic impersonation of Trump on Saturday Night Live. And in a very nonchalant way, he next enquired, “Is there anyone who can say how big the audience is? Sean, do you know?” And just when everyone assumed it was one of his jokes for the evening, out came Sean Spicer himself from behind the wings! Yes, he borrowed Melissa McCarthy’s SNL podium for a cameo at the Emmys and wheeled-in to the stage. And no one in the audience could control their emotions, as the many reaction photos show.
— Emily Longeretta (@emilylongeretta) September 18, 2017
Melissa McCarthy, present in the audience, too couldn’t believe it and the cameras caught the artist’s expression as a beaming Spicer took the task upon himself to answer Colbert’s query. “This will be the largest audience to witness the Emmys period, both in person and around the world,” Spicer said echoing something he had said about Trump’s inauguration audience figure.
— People (@people) September 18, 2017
Hearing Spicer’s reply, Colbert jokingly said, “Wow, that really soothes my fragile ego.” And as Spicer waved goodbye at the audience, he added, “Melissa McCarthy, everybody.”
While many were as surprised as the audience, a few laughed and lauded him for being a sport.
— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) September 18, 2017
Let’s just sit back and take in the fact that Sean Spicer went from Press Secretary to in-person Emmy punchline in less than a year pic.twitter.com/ip3N53Vh1M
— Will Federman (@wfederman) September 18, 2017
— OliviaAndersonBrown (@livandbrown) September 18, 2017
— Jonathan Berk (@berkie1) September 18, 2017
However, many seemed to be irked by his cameo, including Kal Penn, who snubbed the former US Press Secretary to Donald Trump and urged everyone not to laugh off Spicer’s presence and what he claims to stand for.
.@seanspicer can normalize himself in good fun, but he still passionately advocated against human rights, health care, & American values
— Kal Penn (@kalpenn) September 18, 2017
Sean Spicer’s stint in the Emmys just reminds me that Hollywood will always reward whiteness and racism despite how destructive or dangerous
— sarah amy harvard (@amyharvard_) September 18, 2017
SEAN SPICER DOES NOT GET TO BE FUNNY
— Ira Madison III (@ira) September 18, 2017
Harvard fellowships, Emmy appearances, huge speaking fees: there’s just gonna be no penalty for working in Trump’s White House, huh?
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) September 18, 2017
So we’re just letting Sean Spicer in on the joke now, huh?
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) September 18, 2017
Interesting choice by Emmys to let someone joke about demonstrably lying to the American people on behalf of the most powerful person in US
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) September 18, 2017
I’ve reported in 5 conflict zones, wrote a book and still have trouble getting men to take me seriously but Sean Spicer works at Harvard now
— Sulome Anderson (@SulomeAnderson) September 18, 2017
Steve Bannon – 60 Minutes feature
Sean Spicer – Emmy cameo
BUT Hillary Clinton needs to “shut up and go away”#NotOK
— VickiS 🇺🇸 (@vickscan) September 18, 2017
The fact we laughed at Sean Spicer doesn’t make him a comedy act. Bringing out a propagandist at the Emmy’s was extremely inappropriate.
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) September 18, 2017
Had to turn it off. My industry hanging with Sean Spicer and honoring Roger Ailes made me depressed. #Emmy
— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) September 18, 2017
There is nothing funny about Sean Spicer .. he stood in front of our kids and lied about the smallest things. Pathetic Emmy’s.
— howardlindzon (@howardlindzon) September 18, 2017
THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES FOR BAD BEHAVIOR.
— Gus Posey 🌍 (@gus_posey) September 18, 2017