Anti-Trump YouTube star Randy Rainbow has sought to address his problematic past, in his first new video since being called out with racist and transphobic tweets.
The Emmy-nominated internet comedian, who has earned a large following through musical theatre parodies mocking the Trump administration, apologised in August for dozens of resurfaced tweets from 2010 and 2011 in which he joked about racial segregation and being murdered by “huge African American men”.
Other messages deployed transphobic slurs, with one reading: “If I COULDA been, I WOULDA been. And THAT’S transgenderism.”
Randy Rainbow attempts to explain past offensive jokes.
In his first video since the tweets resurfaced, Rainbow broke the fourth wall as he sought to address his past views.
In a fictional interview with Trump, he told the president: “I get it. I was once an aspiring comedian, just like you. I posted offensive things for shock value.
“The difference was I was doing it satirically, using irony and exaggeration to point out absurdity, saying and doing things through a persona that I wasn’t actually saying and doing… kind of like how I’m not really at the White House with you right now, it’s just a green screen.
“But I changed my act when I realised there were actually awful things actually being said and done by actually awful people just like you.
“Once I had actual platform I vowed I would try my best to use it only for good.”
The YouTube star continued with a parody of “I Won’t Grow Up” from Peter Pan, concluding: “Though I’ve made some past mistakes, there’s one I won’t no matter what it takes. I’ll never vote Trump, not me.”
Comedian says he is ‘deeply sorry’ for old tweets.
He previously sought to apologise for his remarks in an interview with The Advocate, admitting “[The tweets] sound racist and awful. I’m embarrassed by them. They make me sick to my stomach, in fact, and I deeply apologise to anyone I offended.”
Rainbow explained that as a young comic he was seeking to emulate barb-tongued comedians like Joan Rivers and Kathy Griffin.
He said: “The comedy landscape was completely different back then. This kind of edgy shock comedy was not only acceptable but a prevalent style.
“I was an aspiring comedian in my 20s working the stages in gay nightclubs where we said the most outlandish, raunchy things we could think of.
“I was searching for my comedy voice, my persona, and I was emulating styles and jokes of people that I was seeing in the mainstream.
“I had this sort of character in my head and there were different ingredients I was throwing into the pot. There was some Karen Walker from Will & Grace, there was some Joan Rivers, there was some this, some that. I was regurgitating what was accepted then as edgy, which in the light of today is totally unacceptable.
“Any jokes that I tweeted out around this time were meant to be read in the voice of this character I created, and the intention was always that my forced ignorance would be the butt of the joke.”