Chuck Schumer’s Bizarre (And Shade-Filled) Oscar Tweet Has Everyone Scratching Their Heads

The pandemic Oscars have been pretty weird. Produced in part by Steven Soderbergh, it’s envisioned a new, probably one-time-only way to handle a ceremony in the midst of a once-in-a-century public health crisis. There’ve been roaming cameras and CinemaScope framing and lots of talking and almost no clips. But perhaps the weirdest thing about the 2021 Academy Awards didn’t happen on air. It was a tweet from a politician.

Chuck Schumer, the newish Senate Majority Leader, decided to weigh in on Hollywood’s big night. He didn’t, say, congratulate Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao for being only the second woman to ever win Best Director, or say that the documentary Time got robbed. Instead he posted a very dense, loaded picture of him a) sitting about two feet from a TV screen while b) sitting in what looks like a pretty uncomfortable wooden chair and c) nursing what he called an “ice cold plant-based beer.” He then thanked Joe Biden. For what exactly? It’s a mystery.

This year’s Oscars are weird not only because the format is radically different. It’s also weird because few of the nominated films garnered much widespread attention. So when Schumer posted his bizarre tweet about halfway through the show, plenty of people pounced on it.

Some questioned the “plant-based beer” remark — which may have been a subtle trolling of former Trump staffer Larry Kudlow, who recently ranted about how Biden was going to make everyone guzzle beer from plants (aka beer).

Some were weirded out by the awkward way he held the bottle.

Others criticized his close proximity to the TV.

And there were those who thought everything about it was strange.

There were other jokes, too.

And there were people who found this to be the most entertaining part of a pretty chatty show.