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Debra Messing Speaks to Ivanka Trump as 'One Jewish Mother to Another': Do Something

Will & Grace star appealed to the first daughter directly as ‘one Jewish mother to another,’ calling on her to start defending feminist ideals beyond social media

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Haaretz
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Debra Messing attends the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 6, 2017 in New York
Debra Messing attends the 28th Annual GLAAD Media Awards on May 6, 2017 in New YorkCredit: EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP
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Haaretz

Debra Messing, star of the award-winning sitcom “Will and Grace,” spoke directly to Ivanka Trump at the 2017 GLAAD Media Awards in New York City during her acceptance speech on Sunday.

After thanking GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) for their advocacy for LGBT content in media and for honoring her with the Excellence in Media Award, Messing pivoted to more political issues, attacking the first family and saying that “it’s time to make America gay again.”

Messing set the tone early on, saying that “things are getting dire. Our democracy and humanity have been under attack. Unless you are an unenlightened, straight, cisgender white male, you are a target.”

Messing then slammed President Donald Trump to much applause as “a very bad, very orange man in our White House.” She criticized the Trump administration’s campaign against the LGBT community.

She then gave out the number of the White House switchboard (1-202-224-3121) to the audience full of advocates, journalists and celebrities, many of whom can be seen switching on their cell phones.

Messing thanked U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hayley, for standing up for the LGBT community in Chechnya after GLAAD called on her to act.

Messing saved most of her speech for Ivanka Trump, appealing to the first daughter directly as “one Jewish mother to another.” She called on Ivanka, whose official role in the White House is as an unpaid assistant to the president, to “do something” about women’s issues, instead of just talking about them.

Messing called on Ivanka to stop the president’s plan to “separate immigrant mothers from their American-born children” and “take health care away from women who need it.”

“Don’t allow him to make trans kids like Gavin fight in court for their basic human dignity,” she said, pointing to American student Gavin Grimm, who was in attendance. Grimm is currently challenging his school for the right to use the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity.

Speaking directly into the camera, Messing added, “Ivanka, please, please stop blindly defending your father, and start defending what you say you believe in.”

“You can’t just write ‘#womenwhowork’ and think you’re advancing feminism,” Messing said, referring to Ivanka’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. “You need to be a woman who does good work #saywhatyoumeanandmeanwhatyousay.”

“Imagine how you’ll feel, sitting at Passover seder, if you can tell your children that you fought for justice and freedom,” Messing finished.

Messing, who is set to reprise her role as Grace Adler this fall in a new 10-episode season of “Will & Grace,” has long been an advocate for the LGBTQ community. She frequently speaks out against Trump and his administration on Twitter.

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