Last Saturday (October 13) the rapper T.I. posted a promotional video for his new album Dime Trap, causing controversy with its depiction of First Lady Melania Trump.
The video begins with a voiceover questioning why Donald’s getting off on his own and then cuts to a White House scene where a Melania lookalike strips naked from a ‘really don’t care do u?’ coat, before proceeding to give the rapper a presidential desk lap dance.
After more shenanigans the pair leave the room, suggestively.
Unsurprisingly, the video hasn’t gone down well in the White House – Melania Trump’s Director of Communications, Stephanie Grisham, responded to a tweet of the video asking ‘How is this acceptable?’
Now, Melanie Marsden, who played the lookalike, has said she’s received death threats.
Marsden spoke to TMZ about the death threats made towards her, as well as her view on why the video made such an impact, and what she hopes may come from it.
I have had some death threats, I have spoken about it actually, and there’s more today. It’s lovely. It’s actually unbelievable that people take this so seriously.
I’m an independent woman trying to make a living and feed myself, you know, I look after myself. And it’s surprising that people have this much time to focus on somebody who took an acting job versus ‘where’s the cure for cancer?’
Number one, I’m surprised that the lady that works with the First Lady has the time to comment on rap videos. That’s sad. Secondly, I think the way it was presented – the actual music video is one thing – but the way it was presented by T.I. was more of the issue. Because it was directed to 45 [President Trump] and I think that’s what got their attention.
I’m grateful for the platform it’s giving me right now, I do have other passion projects that I’m working on and one of them is a documentary with some really successful and talented people that are attached with me that’s going to investigate and uncover the cancer industry and all of the treatments that are out there that aren’t conventional medicines. I don’t regret anything I do.
The promotional video received something of a mixed reaction, with some in support of the rapper, thanking him for using his celebrity status to call out the president for his policies and alleged behaviour.
Many have stated they never listened to T.I.’s music before but would as a result of the stunt.
However, many have criticised T.I. for using Melania as a tool to vent his frustrations at the president. Some said the video was ‘degrading to women’, while others said it was not fair of him to portray Melania in such a light just because he disagreed with her husband’s politics.
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Melanie took to Instagram with a response to the death threats in the guise of Melania:
Music and art should unite us. I’d like to address some of the response I’ve had. Yes, I was naked, but I’ve been naked before.
For those of you that love my husband, I love him too. But there is no need for death threats. Life is short. Relax. And be kind. Be best.
God bless America and Russia and the Trumps.
God bless you Melanie.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.