Katie Rich, a writer for “Saturday Night Live,” has been suspended from her position at that show following a widely criticized post she made Friday on her personal Twitter account in which she mocked Barron Trump, the 10-year-old son of President Donald J. Trump.
She was suspended immediately after her tweet, and her suspension is indefinite, according to someone familiar with the plans at “S.N.L.,” who was not authorized by NBC to comment on personnel matters.
That tweet on Friday, during Mr. Trump’s inauguration ceremony, drew widespread condemnation, and Ms. Rich subsequently deleted the post (which said “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter”) and deactivated her Twitter account. Her name did not appear in the closing credits of “Saturday Night Live” in its broadcast on Saturday.
On Monday afternoon, Ms. Rich reactivated her account and posted a message that said: “I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I’m so sorry.”
The suspension of Ms. Rich, who was hired to join “S.N.L.” at the end of 2013, comes at a delicate time for the program, when it has felt emboldened to lampoon Mr. Trump but has faced his swift retaliation on Twitter.
Following the show’s broadcast of Jan. 14, in which the actor Alec Baldwin played Mr. Trump in a parody of his news conference from earlier that week, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter the following day:
“NBC News is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!”
Mr. Trump made no public comments about Saturday’s show, in which Mr. Baldwin did not appear. NBC said on Monday that Mr. Baldwin will host “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 11 and appear throughout that program.
|Katie Rich, a “Saturday Night Live” writer, has been suspended. Credit Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS, via Getty Images|
SNL's Katie Rich 'suspended' for 'insensitive' tweet about Donald Trump's son Barron
"Saturday Night Live" writer was suspended indefinitely after tweeting an "insensitive" joke about Donald Trump's 10-year-old youngest son, Barron.
Katie Rich was suspended immediately for writing the offensive tweet, a source told the Associated Press, after it triggered an outcry on social media, with many calling for a boycott of the TV show.
Rich later deleted the tweet, deactivated her account but then reactivated it on Monday, saying she wanted to "sincerely apologise" for the "insensitive" tweet and "deeply regret" her actions.
NBC had no comment.
Barron, who will become the first boy since John F Kennedy Jr to live in the White House, had found support from Chelsea Clinton, with the former first daughter saying he "deserves the chance every child does - to be a kid."
The ten-year-old has been the victim of cruel memes online ever since the election result, but instances of the mocking posts appeared to increase as he stood by his father during the inauguration.
Barron Trump has had his facial expressions and posture scrutinised, with critics accusing the young boy of looking bored and not loving his father.
However, Rich sparked the greatest outrage when she tweeted: "Barron will be this country's first homeschool shooter".
Ms Clinton wrote: "Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing POTUS policies that hurt kids."
Many agreed with her defence of the child.
Anitha Bachireddy wrote: "Thank you, Chelsea. Exactly what a woman who grew up in the White House should say. You are the finest product of an American Presidential legacy. I am your age and grew up with you and thought you were just like me and people should leave you alone.
"As a future Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, I can say with confidence -Hillary and Bill's finest job is you."
Chelsea Clinton spent most of her childhood in the White House, and underwent years of public bullying from critics.
Paula Qureshi said: "Amy Carter, Chelsea Clinton, the Bush twins and the Obama girls were ALL subjected to cruelty.
"That is why ALL parents need to be respectful regardless of their politics and also consider the policies that they implement that are impacting someone's child."
Many Twitter user had asked Rich to delete the tweet because it was "rude" and "disrespectful".
Sam Janney wrote: "Kids are off limits...and the internet is forever. Shameful @katiemaryrich".
Julie Bowen who acts in Modern Family shared a series of pictures of Barron Trump, appearing to single out and mock him.
Many called her out for it, saying she was a "pathetic celebrity" and a "jerk".
This isn't the first time "SNL" has got in trouble for joking about the president's children. In 1993, then-cast member Mike Myers had to write an apology letter to the Clintons after a skit that mocked Chelsea.
"She's a kid, a kid who didn't choose to be in public life," "SNL" executive producer Lorne Michaels said at the time. He also acknowledged that said his show treated then nine-year-old Amy Carter "a little rougher" during the 1970s when Jimmy Carter was in the Oval Office.
The current controversy over Barron Trump comes as President Trump has lashed out at the way "Saturday Night Live" has lampooned him, with the president saying Alec Baldwin's semi-regular portrayal of him "stinks" and calling one of the skits a "hit job."
'SNL' WRITER SUSPENDED, APOLOGIZES FOR BARRON TRUMP TWEET
'SNL' acted swiftly to punish one of its writers after she tweeted a tasteless joke about 10-year-old Barron Trump.
A source familiar with the situation says 'SNL' has suspended Katie Rich indefinitely, and the suspension came down immediately after her infamous social media post on inauguration Friday.
Rich tweeted, "Barron will be this country's first homeschool shooter."
Rich has since deleted all her tweets, with the exception of an apology she posted Monday.
Deadline first reported her suspension.