Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Debra Messing absolutely annihilates Ivanka Trump in powerful GLAAD speech

debra messing.jpg

Debra Messing had a strong message for Ivanka Trump at the GLAAD Media Awards: “It’s time to do something.”

The 48-year-old actor – who played Grace Adler for eight years on Will & Grace – was presented with the Excellence in Media award at the ceremony, given to those who advocate for LGBT visibility. And, when she stepped up to accept the gong, Messing decided to take aim at the First Daughter in a powerful, and, at times, incredibly funny, speech.

Addressing the eldest daughter of President Donald Trump directly, Messing asked: “Ivanka, girlfriend, what are you doing? Come on, it's me, Deb, let's talk for a second, one Jewish mother to another.

“It is not enough to simply say that women's issues are important to you, it's time to do something.”

Read more: The most ferocious signs and posters from the Women’s March

Messing – whose Jewish ancestors emigrated to the USA from Russia and Poland – continued: “Ivanka, you can change the lives of millions of women and children just by telling your dad stories about real people who are suffering.

“Don’t let him separate immigrant mothers from their American-born children. Don’t let him take health care away from women who need it. Don’t allow him to make trans kids like Gavin [Grimm] fight in court for their basic human dignity.”

“Ivanka, please, please stop blindly defending your father and start defending what you say,” implored Messing, pressing her hand to her heart. “You can’t just write ‘hashtag women who work’ and think you’re advancing feminism. You need to be a woman who does good work – hashtag say what you mean and mean what you say.”

Warming to her theme, the actor went on to joke: “Ivanka we know you love the guy who does your hair colour – it’s good by the way – so do right by your colourist and by all of us.”

Read more: Thousands share sexual assault stories after Donald Trump's misogynist comments

As the audience descended into giggles, Messing decided to adopt a more sombre tone for her big finale.

“Imagine how you will feel sitting at Passover Seder if you can tell your children that you fought for justice and freedom. It will make you feel richer than owning all the skyscrapers and golf courses in the world.”

But, unable to resist one last joke, Messing added cheekily: “If you get Steve Bannon out of office, I bet we’ll put you back in Nordstrom.”

Nordstrom, of course, is one of four retailers who have nixed the Ivanka Trump fashion line from their shelves, following a global boycott.

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump

Predictably, Messing’s speech did not go down well with online trolls, with many taking to Twitter to slam her for her choice of words.

The video of Messing’s speech – which has over 669,500 views at time of writing – has also received quadruple the number of dislikes to likes, which GLAAD attributes to a coordinated attack from online trolls. 

Speaking to The Huffington Post, Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, said: “As the alt-right dogpiles on this video, Messing’s important message of unity is reaching the people who need it most.

“Plus the fair-minded Americans who are commenting on Messing’s GLAAD video are reminding the world that the resistance is louder.”

Read more: ‘This will cost women their lives’ Trump signs anti-abortion edict surrounded by men

During her speech, Messing jokingly addressed Ivanka as the Secretary of State. This was a sly jibe at the fact that while Trump’s daughter has no official role in her father’s administration, her influence on him is well-known.

The president himself has referenced the powerful effect his supposedly favourite child has on his political decisions, tweeting that she is “always pushing me to do the right thing”.

A self-proclaimed feminist, Ivanka made regular appearances on her father’s behalf during the US election campaign – going as far as to defend his crude comments about women and insisting that his recorded boasts about sexual assault were not consistent with the man she knew.

And, since President Trump took office in January, Ivanka has been acting as an unofficial presidential counsellor (her husband, Jared Kushner, is a senior White House adviser). The couple have been frequently depicted as moderating forces in the Trump administration: voices of urbane tolerance and relative liberality in the face of the President’s brash impulsiveness and the far-right tendencies of many in his cabinet.

However, over the past few months, Ivanka has been hit by a backlash accusing her of “co-opting feminism” in a quest for personal gain and power, while others have labelled her an “accomplice” in the actions of Trump. Scarlett Johansson mocked the First Daughter in a spoof perfume ad for Saturday Night Live, which was pointedly titled ‘Complicit’.

Read more: Scarlett Johansson spoofs Ivanka Trump in mock perfume advert

Ivanka, of course, is not the main issue – a fact which Messing begrudgingly acknowledged in her GLAAD speech.

“Unless you are an unenlightened straight cisgender white male, you are a target,” she said, referencing Trump’s policies on reproductive rights, immigration laws and the LGBT community.

“That makes us all a target. There is a very bad and very orange man in the White House. At least a few times a month.”

Images: Rex Features




“Donald Trump refusing to hold Melania's hand is sad and awkward”


Scarlett Johansson spoofs Ivanka Trump in mock perfume advert


Michelle Obama slams Trump in impassioned speech


The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Amanda Seyfried’s new abode to Jessica Chastain’s feline friend

by Nicola Colyer
17 Oct 2017

Jennifer Lawrence was forced into a naked line-up by a producer

In the name of weight-loss “inspiration”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Abigail Breslin’s photo reveals how domestic abuse can stay with you

The actor has opened up about the realities of living with PTSD

17 Oct 2017

“Why Liar is proof that TV's depiction of rape is damaging to women”

The proliferation of rape in TV and film is a real problem for the representation of women

by Harriet Hall
17 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson reveals why red is the ultimate foodie colour

As she tracks her gastronomic love affair with all things crimson

by Stylist
17 Oct 2017

Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted at 16 by a director

“Producers made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Courtney Love tried to warn us about Harvey Weinstein in 2005

This video shows her speaking out against Weinstein over a decade ago

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Hillary Clinton praises NHS after receiving medical treatment in UK

Clinton spoke about the UK’s health service during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show

by Moya Crockett
17 Oct 2017

Maisie Williams’ response to Sophie Turner’s engagement is perfect

There’s a reason these two have been dubbed #BFFgoals, you know…

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Oct 2017

America Ferrera reveals she was sexually assaulted as a 9-year-old

‘I believed that I was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man’

by Kayleigh Dray
17 Oct 2017