US stars including John Legend, Kerry Washington and Mark Ruffalo have shared their feelings following the highly-anticipated television debate between Donald Trump and his presidential rival Joe Biden.
Many took to Twitter to condemn the US president for failing to denounce white supremacy during the debate.
The two politicians faced off in Cleveland, Ohio, for the first debate, which came just over a month before the US presidential election.
During an acrimonious and chaotic showdown, Mr Trump and Mr Biden exchanged verbal blows while the moderator, Chris Wallace, struggled to take control.
At one point, Mr Trump was asked to disavow white supremacists and the Proud Boys, a far-right organisation, but instead told them to “stand back and stand by”.
His unwillingness to issue a blanket condemnation of white supremacy brought sharp and immediate criticism online from many well-known American celebrities.
In a stinging response, Frozen star Josh Gad, who is of Jewish descent, said: “The Nazis killed my family members. Tonight Trump told them to ‘stand by.’ I have never imagined saying these words in my life. ‘Mr. President, F*** YOU.’”
Actress Kerry Washington, best known for her work on political drama Scandal, tweeted: “Once again. He refuses to condemn White supremacy. PAY ATTENTION FOLKS. Please vote.”
Once again. He refuses to condemn White supremacy. PAY ATTENTION FOLKS. Please vote.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) September 30, 2020
The entire country has to make a decision as to whether it will continue to downplay the fact that our President is an openly racist White Supremacist and what that means for its citizens, or... VOTE HIM OUT.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) September 30, 2020
DonaldTrump is utterly disgusting and Chris Wallace is a wuss.
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) September 30, 2020
Comedian and actress Robin Thede also accused Mr Trump of failing to condemn white supremacy, adding: “He encouraged it. The end. There are no two sides to this.”
Singer Christina Perri tweeted: “We just watched the president of the united states UNABLE and UNWILLING to condemn white supremacy. you all just saw and heard that.”
we just watched the president of the united states UNABLE and UNWILLING to condemn white supremacy. you all just saw and heard that. ✌🏼 #Debates2020
— christina perri (@christinaperri) September 30, 2020
The Boys star Jack Quaid said: “He literally couldn’t denounce white supremacy.”
Zach Braff, best known for his work on TV comedy Scrubs, tweeted: “Only honest thing I digested: Nazis standby!”
Only honest thing I digested:
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) September 30, 2020
For those who hadn’t been listening for the past 4 years, Trump just told you that he ain't leaving and that he is a white supremacist. If that doesn't get every American who is not white into overdrive to toss his ass - we may actually deserve what happens next.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) September 30, 2020
And actor Patrick J Adams, the Duchess of Sussex’s former Suits co-star, said: “He just refused to condemn white supremacy. That just happened right?”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the verdict from Hollywood was in favour of Mr Biden.
Many stars – including Mark Ruffalo, John Legend and Pete Davidson – were critical of the president.
“We can’t put ourselves through another 4 years of this walking dumpster fire,” Legend, a frequent critic of Mr Trump, said.
A post shared by The Real Glenn Close (@glennclose) on
The debate – which was marred by frequent interruptions from Mr Trump – included segments on the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and climate change.
Marvel star Ruffalo, a climate change activist, criticised Mr Trump’s environmental record and said “he has no leadership qualities, he has shown that all he can do is denigrate and lie”.
Trump lied about Covid 19 and now 200k people are dead. He is lying tonight. #Debates2020
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) September 30, 2020
You’ve got a decent man vs. a hulking, loudmouth bully with no specific plans on anything.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 30, 2020
And best-selling author Stephen King, another vocal critic of the president, said: “You’ve got a decent man vs. a hulking, loudmouth bully with no specific plans on anything.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.