Team Melania Trump is pushing back against rapper T.I.’s sexist promotional video teased online Friday. The video features a Melania lookalike stripping in the “Oval Office” for the rapper’s pleasure while the president is away golfing.
A spokeswoman for the First Lady called for a boycott of T.I. (real name Clifford Harris) over the “disrespectful” and “disgusting” video on Tuesday.
“Like it or not, she is the First Lady and this is the White House,” Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady’s communications director, told CNN in statement. “It’s disrespectful and disgusting to portray her this way simply because of politics. These kinds of vulgar attacks only further the divisiveness and bias in our country — it needs to stop.”
On social media, Grisham called the video unacceptable and “disgusting,” adding a #BoycottT.I. hashtag. Mrs. Trump’s official Twitter account retweeted the post as a seeming endorsement of the call to boycott.
The video shows a Melania lookalike wearing the infamous “I really don’t care do u?” jacket, which she wore to troll reporters while visiting children in Texas in June. After stripping for T.I. in the “Oval Office,” the lookalike helps graffiti a framed photo of the president.
T.I. posted the video to this Twitter page with the caption, “Dear 45, I’m not Kanye.” The rapper lost his mind on Kanye West in an Instagram rant after the famous Kanye/Trump White House meeting. T.I. offensively called it reminiscent of the film “Django Unchained.”
“This is the most repulsive,disgraceful, Embarrassing act of desperation & auctioning off of one’s soul to gain power I’ve ever seen,” he wrote, adding, “If you listen closely you can hear the tears of our ancestors hit the floor.”
Melania notably told ABC News in a recent sit-down interview that she considers herself one of the most bullied people in the world. “I could say that I’m the most bullied person in the world,” said the First Lady. “One of them, if you really see what people are saying about me. … That’s why my ‘Be Best’ initiative is focusing on social media and online behavior.”
Surprisingly, even some feminists have come to the defense of Mrs. Trump, calling on liberals to stop “slut-shaming” the First Lady. A Refinery29 piece specifically calls out T.I. for his video. “We have to wonder if this is the best T.I. can do,” it reads.