“Saturday Night Live” writer Katie Rich has been suspended from the show indefinitely following a tweet poking fun at Barron Trump, the 10-year-old son of President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
Deadline.com was the first of multiple outlets to report the suspension, which NBC has not confirmed. Rich, who worked exclusively on “Weekend Update” material for the late-night sketch-comedy show, had deleted the offending tweet and deactivated then reactivated her account, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet,” Rich wrote Monday on her sole remaining tweet. “I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.”
According to screengrabs, the comedy writer and stand-up comic had tweeted on Friday that “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter.” Widespread criticism followed. Chelsea Clinton, the adult daughter of President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, tweeted Sunday, “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids.”
Donald Trump, who frequently tweets criticism of the satirical “Saturday Night Live,” had not responded as of Monday afternoon.
The show’s Dec. 5, 1992, “Wayne’s World” sketch had placed 12-year-old Chelsea Clinton as No. 2 on Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth’s (Dana Carvey) top ten things they liked about president-elect Bill Clinton. While the sketch overall remains available in ancillary runs of the show and at NBC.com, their comments that “adolescence has been thus far unkind” to her but “she could turn into a babe in waiting” were edited out after criticism, and Myers wrote a letter of apology to the Clintons. Executive producer Lorne Michaels noted months later that, “We felt, upon reflection, that if it was in any way hurtful, it wasn’t worth it,” adding, “She’s a kid, a kid who didn’t choose to be in public life.”
In the 1970s, “SNL” had also made jokes at the expense of President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter’s 9-year-old daughter Amy. Those jibes did not generate significant public protest, though Michaels conceded in 1993 that they were “a little rougher” than those aimed at Chelsea Clinton.