A Republican congressman from Arizona shared a bizarre video on Twitter in which his face and those of several other far-right members of the House are edited into the opening credits of the anime Attack on Titan and depicted killing a giant monster with the face of Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The reaction on Twitter was a mix of confusion and anger from Democrats, with some arguing that he should face repercussions in the House for his conduct.
Rep Paul Gosar’s account tweeted the 92-second-long video early on Sunday evening from his official congressional account, captioning the clip: “Any anime fans out there?” It was shared tens of thousands of times.
Any anime fans out there? pic.twitter.com/TxX4qiJhOi— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) November 7, 2021
The clip depicts Mr Gosar as well as fellow right-wing lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert battling a towering, naked “Titan” from the popular anime series as well as several jump cuts to footage of US Customs and Border Protection agents and large groups of migrants; Mr Gosar has within the last few days reiterated his desire to “end” immigration to the US entirely.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez is seen for a few seconds in the video, as her face is superimposed over the monster’s, before the three anime characters/members of Congress deliver a fatal strike to the back of the monster’s head. Blood is seen gushing from the attack.
President Joe Biden is also seen, whom the characters appear to be fighting as well.
The video’s style would be bizarre enough had it not been for the depiction of three Republican members of Congress murdering a Democrat. Mr Gosar’s office insisted to The Independent in an emailed statement that the intent was not to glorify violence.
“We made an anime video. Everyone needs to relax. The left doesn’t get meme culture. They have no joy. They are not the future. It’s a cartoon. Gosar can’t fly and he does not own any light sabers,” said the spokesperson for Mr Gosar, who added that the video was about “fighting for truth”.
The congressman has issued no further analysis of the strange video beyond a compliment from his personal account, which read: “The creativity of my team is off the hook.”
Some Democratic commenters on Twitter called for Mr Gosar to face consequences for the tweet.
“He should be removed from committee assignments just as Marjorie Taylor Greene was,” tweeted Kaivan Shroff, a former digital staffer for the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. “Absolutely disgraceful.”
🚨NEW: Republican @RepGosar has shared a photoshopped animated video that depicts him killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Absolutely disgraceful.— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) November 8, 2021
He should be removed from committee assignments just as Marjorie Taylor Greene was.
“Happy Monday in America, where @GOPLeader [Kevin] McCarthy’s colleague just posted a video of himself swinging two swords at President Biden. These blood thirsty losers are more comfortable with violence than voting. Keep exposing them,” tweeted Rep Eric Swalwell, a Democrat and member of the House Intelligence Committee.
Happy Monday in America, where @GOPLeader McCarthy’s colleague just posted a video of himself swinging two swords at President Biden. These blood thirsty losers are more comfortable with violence than voting. Keep exposing them. https://t.co/nlmEW9EHB4 pic.twitter.com/5BI895zvLG— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 8, 2021
Mr Gosar’s colleague, Ms Greene, was herself removed from her House committee assignments (where the majority of work takes place) earlier this year after a series of videos were uncovered of her espousing wild conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, harassing survivors of a school shooting on the street, and crucially, expressing support for violence against Democrats in Congress including Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She has since apologised for some of her comments.
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