Of all of the surprising things that happened during Sunday night’s 69th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony (Lena Waithe becoming the first African-American woman to win a Comedy Writing award, Julia Louis-Dreyfus smashing records, etc.), perhaps the most shocking was a surprise cameo by none other than former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Taking a jab at the president lack of Emmy wins during his opening monologue, host Stephen Colbert said, “Of course, what really matters to Donald Trump is ratings, you gotta have the big numbers. And I certainly hope we achieve that tonight, unfortunately at this point we have no way of knowing how big our audience is.”
“I mean is there anyone who can say how big the audience is? Sean, do you know?” he asked, before cutting to Spicer himself wheeling out on stage behind Melissa McCarthy’s Saturday Night Live podium. “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period, both in person, and around the world,” Spicer cracked, in a nod to his Inauguration Day crowd size remarks.
After his appearance, Spicer was seen behind-the-scenes backstage drinking beer and hobnobbing with celebrities who all seemed thrilled for a photo op. Yes, on one hand you can look at it that the appearance was all in good fun. On the other hand, however, this is a man who engaged in some blatant gaslighting of America — the same man who once actually defended Hitler while stumping for his boss — and you can’t blame people for being upset.
For his part, Sean Spicer has not commented on the backlash to his appearance, although he did retweet a few positive articles and tweets. His former boss has yet to tweet anything about the awards show.