That Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney, notably a white woman, has white family members who appear to be conservative is not particularly surprising or newsworthy. It’s actually statistically pretty likely! But because Twitter and the internet exist, an Instagram post by the actor from her mother’s 60th birthday party in which she poses near a man in a Blue Lives Matter shirt and another post from her brother in which numerous guests appear to wear red “Make 60 Great Again” hats went viral over the weekend.
Sweeney responded to the controversy with a tweet bemoaning that “an innocent celebration for my moms milestone 60th birthday has turned into an absurd political statement, which was not the intention.” She added, “Please stop making assumptions. Much love to everyone and Happy Birthday Mom!”
The posts were definitely an avoidable oversight from whoever helps Sweeney manage her social media accounts. But because, again, white people appearing to be Republican isn’t exactly news, we all probably would have moved on by now—were it not for a slew of conservative activists and media personalities swooping in to defend Sweeney, actually making things a lot worse for her!
The outpouring of conservative support started on Sunday, when Tomi Lahren tweeted in defense of Sweeney. “Never bow or apologize to the mob,” Lahren wrote in a quote-tweet atop Sweeney’s tweet. The right-wing pundit unfortunately continued in a separate tweet: “OMG sydney_sweeney had the audacity to hve [sic] a birthday party for her mom and her family had the audacity to appear like they maybe might be conservatives and/or support law enforcement?! Oh the horror! GTFOH, vultures.” Lahren still somehow had more to say to back up Sweeney in a Monday Fox News Radio segment, which you can listen to on your own time here.
A Newsmax columnist has now weighed in, too: “Crucifying a woman for having conservative parents is the sign of both sociopathy, and a sub-par intellect,” Christine Flowers wrote in a tweet quoting Sweeney’s. Conservative influencer John Ziegler also chimed in on Twitter, as did a Twitter account for the right-wing newsletter Citizen Free Press, conservative Rebel News personality Katie Daviscourt, and outspoken conservative actor Nick Searcy, who wrote of the backlash against Sweeney: “The Tolerant Left will tolerate no dissent from leftism.”
Sweeney herself has avoided getting overtly political in the public eye, though she’s spoken pretty candidly about issues with pay and the many struggles of not being a nepo-baby in the entertainment industry. It’s entirely possible that she has conservative, Trump-supporting family members, while not being conservative herself. And if that’s the case, as some Twitter users have pointed out, is she expected to “shoot her mom on IG live?”
Blue Lives Matter shirts and MAGA hats are pretty fucking jarring to behold, so Sweeney’s proximity to these images is truly un-ideal, and I can understand some of the backlash. But none of this seems particularly newsworthy, and the only reason we’re forced to continue talking about any of it is that conservatives are tripping over themselves to claim Sweeney as their own and to drag Twitter liberals (who, in fairness, probably didn’t need to raise this much of a storm!).
But here we gossip bloggers are, utterly forced to unpack all of this, now that the backlash against Sweeney has prompted the DJ Bella Ferrada to allege that Sweeney was once racist toward Ferrada’s boyfriend: “My Mexican boyfriend was trying to fix lighting by you at the HCA [Hollywood Critics Association] awards and you freaked out and had your bf come shooo him while he was just doing his job,” Ferrada appears to have written in a Monday comment on Sweeney’s Instagram post. Ferrada’s allegation, if true, is obviously disappointing. Sweeney has yet to respond to it.
As Sweeney’s mom’s “innocent celebration” continues to devolve into a culture war shit-show, all I care to take away from the matter is that a lot of social media users apparently equate big boobs with conservative politics (this is news to me, but my flat chest corroborates this??), and admittedly entertaining memes including one that posits Sweeney’s uncle is none other than the homicidal fictional barber Sweeney Todd. Just another productive day on the world wide web—great job, everyone!