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January 22 2018

Kristen Bell Opens Girl Power Sag Awards with Cheap Shot at Melania Trump

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

The SAG Awards were all about women last night, but despite the aim to uplift females, host Kristen Bell couldn’t pass up a chance to take a cheap shot at one woman: Melania Trump. The joke was one Bell though because the thinly-veiled joke about the first lady was unfunny.

The SAG awards lacked the solemnness of the Golden Globes all-black attire and “Times’s Up” pins, but it was clear in this award show by actors and for actors that the year of the woman continues. And that’s not a bad thing.

Women dominated the night. The show featured an almost all-female roster of presenters, the opening “I Am An Actor” segment was led by women, and the first-ever host was a woman.  

It’s too bad that for all of the girl power woven into the show, the host had to be political and take a cheap shot at First Lady Melania Trump. Selectively supporting some women and tearing down others does no good to a movement that should be about empowerment for all women.

Here’s what Bell said in her monologue:

“There has never been a host for this award show before. Yep, first time, first person, first lady. And I honestly never thought that I would grow up to be the first lady.

“But you know what? I kind of like it. I think my first initiative as first lady will be cyberbullying because I have yet to see any progress made on that problem quite yet.

“And I’m looking at you, Tony Hale. You’re a bully. You guys, he’s savage on Twitter.”

The joke went over flat. Not even half of the room laughed.

Bell has been an ardent and vocal opponent of the Trump Administration as well as conservatives. As a champion of progressive views, she also perpetuates misleading talking points about the gender pay gap such as her PSA about companies which practice “pink sourcing” or hiring only women so they can them less than men.

However, at a time when women are using social media to share their stories of sexual assault and harassment, is it really the time to take a shot at First Lady Trump?

Women are often criticized for tearing each other down, especially women in power. Bell’s dig is an example of that. Even more, she exposes the bias in Hollywood against conservatives and the Trump Administration.

Bell got high-fives for being all about inclusiveness when she wore a t-shirt last summer that read “You can sit with us.” The question is whether that invitation extends to Melania Trump.

Fundamental to the #MeToo movement is inclusiveness, openness, and acceptance. We wonder though if that extends to women (and men) whose last name is Trump or who support a conservative agenda.

Bell had a chance to put politics aside for a greater purpose. Unfortunately, she blew that chance.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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