Bill Pullman has had enough of Donald Trump. After Trump tweeted a doctored video that superimposed his head on to Pullman's body to deliver the speech from Independence Day, the actor pushed back on the blatant appropriation of his work.
Pullman (nee Bill Paxton, RIP/Game Over, Man) played President Thomas J. Whitmore in the 1996 sci-fi disaster movie Independence Day and delivers one of the classic "summer movie rousing speeches" just before the film's climactic battle. What's unclear, though, is why Trump, or anyone, would match the film's words to his. It speaks to a common humanity of all the world's people, while Trump's entire political modus operandi is to divide people based on race, country, ideology, and so on.
And Pullman is having none of it. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he said, ""My voice belongs to no one but me, and I'm not running for president — this year."
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2020
More Obvious Trolling
The aesthetics of the attempted meme are also just terrible. Twitter user @mad_liberals made the video, which superimposes not only Trump's face but also other noted
trolls "right-wing thought leaders" like Trump, Jr, Sean Hannity, Dinesh D'Souza, and Vice President Mike Pence. A cursory look at Mad "ObamaGate" Liberals' Twitter timeline reveals he does, indeed, intend to make liberals mad. If so, mission. . . not accomplished?
This is just so head-scratchingly weird (it's more DaDa/Andy Kaufman weird because of its mixed messages) if it wasn't so poorly made. Trump's mouth and facial expressions in no way match the dialogue. In a world of deep fakes, this is just merely a shallow and dumb fake, looking more like one of those Jib-Jab videos from 2004.
The context also makes no sense. Apparently, we're all mad at the coronavirus and going to attack it with fighter jets, and so the entire world is going to celebrate the 4th of July now? Mmmkay. I get it that you're mad you can't get a haircut, but this really isn't about that, you know?
What this does play into is Trump's and the Aggrieved Right's intense narcissism, which is why the president ultimately tweeted this. They want to see themselves as the heroes of the story, on the frontlines in some battle for the future of humanity where only they can save us. Instead, this is a cross between Milhouse's science fair project, "Behold! Gravity! In all its glory!" and the only other real movie scene that describes today's "keyboard warriors," when Benoit Blanc in Knives Out referred to as "the Nazi child masturbating in the bathroom." Pretty lame, Milhouse.
It's worth noting that Whitmore was a war hero and a fighter pilot who became president and led the fight on the alien mothership, while Trump dodged the draft to get out of going to Vietnam by getting a fake doctor's note that said he had "bone spurs."
A Silver Lining?
One beautiful thing to maybe come out of all of this, perhaps some of Trump's toxic fanbase will listen to the idea that "We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests." More likely they will just continue to respond to calls to LIBERATE! (whatever that means?) and respond like rabid animals to the red meat of "you will once again be fighting for our freedom not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist, "… and to demand to speak to the manager, amirite?
I look forward to the DNC getting in on the action by painting half of Joe Biden's face blue, putting him on a horse, and doing the speech from Braveheart. That'll win over those Rust Belt voters.