Donald Trump shares manipulated video of him giving Bill Pullman's iconic 'Independence Day' speech
The Trump family, especially as the First Family in the U.S., is not new to plagiarism. In 2016, Melania Trump's RNC speech came under fire for “borrowing” heavily from former-First Lady Michelle Obama's 2008 convention address. The same year, Donald Trump Jr. was accused of plagiarism in an article he had written for the American Conservative. But the U.S. President has pushed the boundaries further.
On Saturday, May 16, President Trump tweeted a video of a speech. It wasn’t his speech, even though it was definitely his face digitally added to actor Bill Pullman’s body. It was one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history: where U.S. President Whitmore (Pullman) gives a rousing speech in the 1996 alien invasion film, ‘Independence Day’.
In the speech, Pullman (and now President Trump) said: “Mankind -- that word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the 4th of July and 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 should we win today, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday but is the day when the world declared in one voice, ‘We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive. Today we celebrate our Independence Day!’”
President Trump isn’t the only one who has been digitally added to the scene. The crowd includes faces like Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump Jr., Ted Cruz, and more.
While, strictly speaking, it cannot be called plagiarism -- he did not either actually deliver the speech or claimed to have written it -- he did not have the video created either. The video was made by a Twitter account called “Mad_Liberals” who claims to be “a 'video manipulator' making memes for our President, Donald J. Trump!” His bio on the social media website adds, “Feel free to share my videos wherever you wish!”
This video was first uploaded by the account on April 14, a little more than a month ago.
While the contents of the speech (even though made in the context of an alien invasion) fits the current state of affairs amid the rapidly growing COVID-19 pandemic, people were not pleased with this. A Twitter user wrote, echoing similar opinions of many, “nearly 100,000 dead. 33,000,000 unemployed. And this is the bulls*** he's tweeting. STOP. THE. MADNESS.”
Another noted, “The fact that Trump retweeted this made me laugh pretty hard. Honestly, this is SERIOUSLY FUNNY. I wonder if he'll ever watch the actual Independence Day movie and realize that Thomas J. Whitmore is his polar opposite sharing more in common with John McCain than him.”
Yet another added, “Except in Independence Day Pres. Whitmore mobilized, then led the world to vanquish a common threat. He fought on the front lines - he didn't deny the threat existed, fail to act, then say ‘it's a beautiful thing to see’ as his soldiers died because of a lack of proper equipment.”