A botched ad campaign from the Trump administration inadvertently created a blacklist of celebrities for current White House officials to avoid. According to leaked documents, Billie Eilish is one of the main offenders.
In a new article from the Washington Post, Democrats learned that the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, Michael Caputo, tried to use a taxpayer-funded campaign to “defeat despair” about the coronavirus (and perhaps give the president a boost during the final weeks of his campaign.)
Given that one of the themes of the ads was “Helping the President will Help the Country,” celebrities who expressed criticism of Trump were ruled out of participating in the PSAs. Taking things even further, any star who expressed support for former President Barack Obama, or were vocal about marriage equality, was also to be barred.
A document outlined a list of celebrities and the specific reasons they were unfit to help lift spirits during the pandemic. Billie Eilish was blocked because she’s “not a Trump supporter.” She was also deemed someone who is “destroying our country and everything we care about.”
The funny thing is that officials were simple plagiarizing her own appearance at August’s Democratic National Convention:
“You don’t need me to tell you things are a mess,” Eilish said. “Donald Trump is destroying our country and everything we care about.” The 18-year-old, who been an outspoken critic of Trump and fierce supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, also debuted a new song, “My Future,” that night.
But she certainly isn’t alone in her beliefs. Elsewhere on the list, Jennifer Lopez was named for being critical of Trump’s immigration policies; Justin Timberlake was nixed because he “publicly endorsed Obama and supports gay marriage”; and Adam Levine was similarly charged with being “a liberal Democrat who supported Obama and fights for gay rights.”
In the end, the administration approved only 10 celebrities to participate in the ads, including country stars Miranda Lambert and Garth Brooks. However, by October 1, participants withdrew their consent for their interviews to be used.
The administration has yet to comment on these revelations, and Caputo is currently on a leave of absence for metastatic head and brain cancer. We’re curious to see if Eilish, or any other entertainers on the list, eventually speak on the matter.
Update: We have since found the Washington Post took the White House document out of context in their original report when they claimed the document stated Billie Eilish is “destroying our country and everything we care about.”
The document actually stated: “Billie Eilish is ‘not a Trump supporter, stated he is “destroying our country and everything we care about.”‘”
This means the White House used Eilish’s statement at the DNC as a reason not to select her as a spokesperson.