Jesse Armstrong slammed what he described as Trump's "crummy and uncoordinated response" to the coronavirus

By Virginia Chamlee
September 21, 2020 01:21 PM
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Jesse Armstrong, creator of the acclaimed HBO series Succession, used his Emmy Awards acceptance speech to offer an "un-Thank You" aimed at the Trump administration's failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's Emmy Awards ceremony was virtual for the first time in its 72-year history, due to the pandemic.

"Being robbed of the opportunity to spend this time with our peers and with the cast and crew, I think maybe I'd like to do a few un-thank yous," said Armstrong, accepting the award for Outstanding Drama from a London hotel room on Sunday. "Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year, un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response."

"Un-thank you to Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my country," the British screenwriter and producer continued. "Un-thank you to all the nationalist and quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now. And un-thank you to the media moguls who do so much to keep them in power. So, un-thank you!”

Jesse Armstrong
ABC

Succession completed its second season in October 2019 and is set to resume filming its third later this fall, with production being put on hold due to COVID-19.

The show tells the story of a billionaire media tycoon and his dysfunctional family, which has drawn a number of comparisons to another billionaire family: the Trumps.

While the show's creator didn't delve into the parallels between the show and the First Family in his Emmys speech, he was quick to blame Trump, 74, and other world leaders, including UK Prime Minster Johnson, for their response to the ongoing pandemic.

The president's handling of the pandemic has been questioned for months, due to the administration's often conflicting messages about the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing. Trump has also been criticized for being at-odds with health officials regarding a COVID-19 vaccine.

Even some who have worked alongside Trump have criticized his pandemic response. Just last week, former White House staffer Olivia Troye slammed the president for displaying what she called "flat out disregard for human life," saying the administration's coronavirus response has been a "failure" and that she would be voting for Joe Biden as a result.

Trump himself has praised his administration's work regarding COVID-19, calling the management of the outbreak “maybe our best work.” The U.S. death toll is currently nearing 200,000, with the country reporting more than 6.8 million cases as of Monday.