On Independence Day, actress Alyssa Milano joined the various figures in the media world who decided to denigrate the United States on its birthday, posting a tweet of herself smiling while wearing a blouse emblazoned with the stars and stripes of the American flag, but captioning the tweet, “Reminder: the United States was founded on the unjust treatment of Native Americans, Africans, and other people of color.” Her presentation was also adorned with the requisite sparkles.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 4, 2021
In July 2020, Milano tweeted her opposition to the name of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. “We must end racism in its entirety. Allowing the @NFL to continue to use the @redskins name is destructive to Native communities and cannot be tolerated any longer,” the actress-turned-activist wrote. “Change the name.”
We must end racism in its entirety. Allowing the @nfl to continue to use the @redskins name is destructive to Native communities and cannot be tolerated any longer. Change the name @Redskins @nfl #TheTimeIsNow #ChangeTheName
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 1, 2020
Yet on the NFL Shop website, not only were there items that were part of Milano’s fashion line Touch emblazoned with the Redskins name, but there were also items from her line with the logo of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Writing in Pacific Standard Magazine in February 2019, an indigenous woman, Terese Marie Mailhot, criticized Milano for selling Redskins paraphernalia:
I understand that you’ve been asked on Twitter to remove and apologize for selling Washington Redskins paraphernalia in your fashion line, Touch by Alyssa Milano. I want to articulate delicately and kindly, as I would to a friend, that I too would like you to remove Redskins merchandise from your line. I’d like you to acknowledge the slur as racist. I’d like to ask you to make commitments to support indigenous people beyond general statements, with concrete action.
I understand you might think this disapproval of the team’s name is a new development, and that people are eager to be offended by everything in today’s culture of allegedly stifling political correctness. In fact, Natives have been protesting derogatory team names and mascots since the 1960’s, when the National Congress of American Indians expressed serious disappointment with college and professional sports teams that use racial slurs or racist caricatures as mascots.
In March 2019, on International Women’s Day, Milano congratulated transgender women on International Women’s Day. The Daily Wire illustrated what happened next:
But when a detractor asked if shewas transgender — a comment apparently meant as an insult — Milano responded by insisting that yes, she “is” transgender. In fact, she said, she was everything. “I’m trans. I’m a person of color. I’m an immigrant. I’m a lesbian. I’m a gay man. I’m the disabled. I’m everything. And so are you, Kirk,” Milano tweeted. “Don’t be afraid of what you don’t know or understand. No one wants to hurt you. We are all just looking for our happily ever after.”
After blowback ensued, Milano tweeted, “I’m glad this tweet invoked conversation. I’m so sorry it offended some. I see you and hear you. But just a reminder, empathy is not a bad thing. Nuance is important and literal interpretation is not always intended. And I can identify with and not identify as. Both are powerful.”