Amber Heard sparks furious debate after people called her joke about ICE checkpoint 'racist'
Donald Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy, and his administration's increasingly aggressive actions have sparked a renewed push to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Last week, tens of thousands gathered in cities across the nation to protest the policy that separated thousands of young migrant children from their parents. Like the Women's March and the March for Our Lives protests before it, the Families Belong Together demonstrations attracted everyone from seasoned activists to celebrities, including the likes of Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Laura Dern and Amber Heard.
The latter, however, incited the vitriol of the internet earlier today after allegedly "joking" about an ICE checkpoint.
The actress posted a tweet early Tuesday morning, warning her 60,400 Twitter followers about an ICE checkpoint near her home in Los Angeles. "Just heard there’s an ICE checkpoint in Hollywood, a few blocks from where I live, she wrote. 'Everyone better give their housekeepers, nannies and landscapers a ride home tonight..." Heard wrote.
While it's evident that the 32-year-old was using sarcasm to highlight the unfair stereotypes perpetuated by - and used to justify -- the actions of Trump's administration, many deemed the tweet to be insensitive, and even "racist".
"Seriously? It’s easy to be outraged and an ‘activist’ from your privileged LA white soapbox isn’t it?," one Twitter user wrote, while another corroborated "I can see where you were going but somewhere along the way you took a wrong turn. Delete this sis."
"Basically saying all house keepers, landscapers, and nannies are illegal immigrants isn’t a little racist? Please help me understand how this isn’t a little racist," a third individual asserted.
Heard seemingly tried to clarify her initial message in a follow-up tweet, which read "Checkpoints on your home streets.... Is this the “great” America we’re aiming for? Raids, fences and police-state like checkpoints don’t feel like the ‘land of the free’ our immigrant ancestors built."
Heard was one of several high-profile celebrities to protest Trump's policy of separating immigrant families at the border - a move which saw over 23,000 children taken from their parents. The actress, who was previously married to Johnny Depp, was photographed at the Marcelino Serna Port of Entry, formerly known as the Tornillo Port of Entry in Texas, with a sign that read: "Apartheid was legal, Holocaust was legal, legality is a matter of power, not justice."
Chrissy Teigen also used her platform to make her opinion on the matter clear. Speaking at a Families Belong Together rally held last Saturday, the model asserted that she was proud to have a parent who was an immigrant.
"I’m incredibly proud to be the daughter of an immigrant. My mother grew up in a very small village in Thailand and she never lets me forget it," she stated. "We love that the American story is filled with people who come from all over the world to have a better life here. America at its best is big, beautiful and diverse. It's not small, it's not petty, and it's not exclusive, like Mar-a-Lago," she said, referencing the president's Florida resort."