A comic video commissioned by the White House, to help encourage young people to get the Covid vaccine, has managed to also outrage many conservatives.
With the Delta variant running rampant across parts of the country, the White House decided to collaborate with TikTokers and YouTubers to raise awareness about the vaccine amongst Generation Z.
One of the people it worked with is gay actor and comedian Benito Skinner, also known as Benny Drama. In the minute-long skit, Skinner (who has 1.4million followers on Instagram) plays an intern, Kooper.
“Hi, my name is Kooper and this is a day in my life as a White House intern,” he says as Lana Del Rey’s song ‘National Anthem’ plays in the background.
The video co-stars Jen Psaki, the real-life White House spokesperson.
In the video, camp Kooper, wearing extravagantly long false nails and a chic blazer, is shown turning up at the West Wing, exclaiming “vogue” when he arrives, drinking coffee from an official White House cup, and interacting with Psaki.
— Benito Skinner (@BennyDRAMA7) August 9, 2021
Psaki informs Kooper, “We’ve come a long way in our fight against this virus. We’ve vaccinated 160million Americans.” As Kooper distractedly browses his phone, Psaki asks him, “Are you getting all this down?”
“Don’t worry, queen, it’s all here,” he says, tapping his head with a nail and winking at an unimpressed-looking Psaki.
By the end of the sketch, even Kooper is on board with the message, telling someone in a phone call, “We need to get shots in the arms of every single American.”
The video has proved popular on social media. It notched up over 450,000 views in about five hours of appearing.
Skinner, who told Politico he did the video for free, said, “We wanted something that could be funny and that both my followers and the White House followers could laugh at, but would also deliver the really important message of getting vaccinated.”
However, many conservatives were outraged at the fun sketch. Donald Trump Jnr. tweeted that watching the video was worse than torture: “Next they’re going to waterboard you till you get vaccinated, though there’s no way that would be worse than watching this!!!”
Next they’re going to waterboard you till you get vaccinated, though there’s no way that would be worse than watching this!!! https://t.co/dliVqejHNF
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 9, 2021
Others were quick to follow suit.
Hiring a mentally ill, gender confused, narcissistic femboy doesn’t exactly make a stronger case for the vaccine hesitant https://t.co/51FXWzltcA
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) August 9, 2021
This is an actual video from inside the Biden White House.
What depraved shit is going on in there? pic.twitter.com/WQ71GSSph5
— Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) August 9, 2021
— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) August 9, 2021
Don’t women find it insulting to be cosplayed? Isn’t that a form of objectification and stereotyping?
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) August 9, 2021
Skinner responded to some of the right-wing reactions on his Instagram yesterday.
“To any queer people who follow me and saw some of the deeply homophobic and hateful comments yesterday, I want you to know that I received thousands more of love and support. These sketches have made me love myself and it is a privilege to try to use them to help others. Spirit fingers mama!!! If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I hope you will reconsider ❤️ NOW TELL ME I’M YOUR NATIONAL ANTHEM!!!!”
View this post on Instagram
Me to my boyfriend’s mom: pic.twitter.com/iBBfogmYmC
— Benito Skinner (@BennyDRAMA7) July 31, 2020