‘Walking Dead’ star calls DeSantis ‘a little gay parody of Strump’

A leading co-star of the long-running sci-fi hit “The Walking Dead” used a homophobic slur to mock Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis after he objected to a “60 Minutes” segment he said was a misrepresentation.

The CBS newsmagazine accused DeSantis of a “pay-for-play” arrangement for partnering with Publix to become COVID-19 vaccine administration centers after the grocery chain donated $100,000 to his political action committee a few weeks before the announcement.

But critics of “60 Minutes” noted that the program selectively edited DeSantis’ response, leaving out the part where he explained that the Publix partnership was based on community input and made the most sense because stores were ideally located for the state’s most vulnerable residents and communities.

“Walking Dead” star Xander Berkeley took to Twitter to mock DeSantis for his explanation.

“Is he doing a little gay parody of Strump? Because No! No! That is Wrong!” Berkeley wrote, appearing to add a slur of former President Donald Trump, who is a Florida resident.

Several users called out Berkeley for his homophobic reference.

“Why are you calling him gay as if that’s a bad thing? Sounds pretty homophobic. But that’s totally OK with you people when it’s directed at conservatives, right? Hypocrite,” one wrote.

“This is homophobic dude. What are you doing?” another wrote.

Meanwhile, Tom Nichols, a contributor to USA Today and The Atlantic, cast aspersions at DeSantis and suggested he was calling out “60 Minutes” for “fake news” just as a sop to his supporters, not because the story itself was flawed.

“The thing is, guys like DeSantis know their voters. All he has to say is ‘fake narrative,’ and he knows that enough angry, resentful people will say ‘See? Fake narrative.’ The reason politicians like him do things like this is because, in modern America, it works for them,” he wrote.

Molly Hemingway, the senior editor at The Federalist, noted that “60 Minutes” is choosing to ignore Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s deadly COVID nursing home policy to focus on DeSantis because he pushes back against the media.

“60 Minutes ignores deadly scandals with Cuomo and Newsom in order to try to invent one with DeSantis. (Gasp: large grocery chain gives political contributions!) The FL Governor’s real crime? Not following the hysterical lead of the propaganda press, thereby making them look bad,” she wrote on Sunday.

GOP operative Jesse Hunt tweeted a response from Jared Moskowitz, the head of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management and a Democrat, who is supervising the state’s COVID actions, in which he called out the “60 Minutes” report as false.

“@60Minutes I said this before and I’ll say it again. @Publix was recommended by @FLSERT and @HealthyFla  as the other pharmacies were not ready to start. Period! Full Stop! No one from the Governors office suggested Publix. It’s just absolute malarkey,” Moskowitz, the state’s emergency management director, wrote.

“This idea why @Publix was picked has been utter nonsense. We reached out to all pharmacies and they were the only one who at the time could execute on the mission. The federal government delayed the federal pharmacy program and we yet again stepped up first to serve more seniors,” he added in response to a Miami Herald article that attempted to make the same pay-for-play connection.

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Jon Dougherty

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