On Wednesday, another school shooting occurred in America when a UCLA campus went on lockdown following reports of an active gunman near Engineering Building #4. Two people died from gunshots, and police swept building after building, fearing the urban environment of the enormous campus would make apprehension difficult. After a few hours, investigators concluded the incident was a murder-suicide. Much later, law enforcement revealed their belief that a disgruntled student may have shot a professor over bad grades.
While the breaking news played out, thousands of people took to social media to express fears and other opinions about gun violence. Debra Messing, who is no stranger to Twitter controversies — she recently sparred with Susan Sarandon over the latter’s pro-Bernie Sanders stance — upset quite a few folks by posting a selfie during the incident. In the photo, Messing wears a T-shirt to promote Under the Gun, a documentary which recently became the subject of scrutiny (for its possibly misleading edits). Producer and narrator Katie Couric later apologized for a “misleading” silence after 2nd Amendment supporters were asked to consider whether terrorists could be dissuaded without background checks. Despite accusations of an agenda (and most documentaries have them) the film has still found a willing audience, including Messing. However, many questioned the timing of this selfie, which she posted during the UCLA shooting.
The social media responses were … not kind. A quick sampling:
Messing deleted the photo after Twitter didn’t take the poorly timed selfie well. She also explained that the T-shirt was for Gun Violence Awareness Day, which is June 2 (although the UCLA shooting happened June 1). Messing was complying with a request to post a selfie while she wore the shirt, and she found “horrible IRONY” at the coincidental news event. Messing insists she’s “heartbroken and embarrassed” at how people misinterpreted the photo and extends an apology to anyone who took offense.