PETA says the Trump administration needs to hold Jeffrey Eugenides accountable for retweeting videos promoting pedophilia.
On Friday, The Washington Post published an article exposing a series of disturbing images tweeted from Eugenides’ Twitter account, which at the time supported presidential candidate Donald Trump, including, in one case, a video that used a toy soldier meant to depict a young boy wearing a swastika to pose with the words, “It is not rape if you don’t like it.”
PETA issued a statement condemning Eugenides’ tweet and calling for an investigation into the filmmaker-turned-bioethicist, who serves as a senior adviser for the National Institutes of Health. Eugenides eventually apologized for his tweet and said the images were “entirely unintentional.”
“We are outraged by Jeffrey Eugenides’ inappropriate behavior, and while the quick apology is appreciated, we do not accept it,” said Mike Pantginis, PETA’s Director of Communications, in a statement. “It’s time to hold Eugenides accountable for his views, resign, and take a long look in the mirror.”
The video Eugenides tweeted the day after attending a Republican debate in Las Vegas featured a toy soldier meant to show what appears to be a young boy sitting on a sofa with the word “raped” in place of “rainbows.” Similar to the likes of antifa and Patriot Prayer, the Neo-Nazis had attempted to paint themselves as “old-fashioned nationalists,” according to the Times. The elderly woman, a photographer for the National Parks Service, was reported to have had the toy soldier painted on its foot on her wall in front of her home.
Following Eugenides’ initial confession, he took to Twitter to say his mistake was unintentional.
“I deleted the tweet earlier but never deleted the opinions expressed,” he wrote. “I understand how these emotions are misconstrued. And as you might imagine my response was really emotional.”
While it has not yet been released what Eugenides’ media company was planning to do with its film and television production, PETA has released this official statement regarding Eugenides’ tweet:
“PETA’s position is clear,” said Pantginis. “Eugenides should immediately come out and say he regrets posting this. That he did not is irresponsible. He’s in a position of power, but he made a very powerful statement — he deeply regrets it. This isn’t his fault. He didn’t choose to post those terrible photos. He’s an intelligent, good-intentioned man who made a bad and stupid decision.
“At the same time, PETA will also remind him that if you cannot value someone based on what they believe in — whether it be to protect animals or oppose the horrors of this mass murderer’s campaign — you’re unfit to serve as a man of your word. PETA stands with those who can’t stand back. We support those who demand accountability,” he added.