A writer on Saturday Night Live has been suspended after facing widespread criticism for a joke she made on Twitter about President Trump’s 10-year-old son, Barron.
Katie Rich, who has been on staff with the show since 2013, posted on Twitter Friday during Trump’s inauguration that Trump's son "will be this country’s first homeschool shooter." The tweet prompted criticism that eventually led Rich to delete the post and her entire account.
Rich’s name did not appear in the closing credits after Saturday's broadcast, and a Change.org petition calling for her to be fired had received more than 100,000 signatures by Tuesday morning.
NBC has not responded to a request for comment, but multiple news sources reported that Rich has been suspended from the show indefinitely.
On Monday afternoon, Rich reactivated her Twitter account and posted an apology.
I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I'm so sorry.
— Katie Rich (@katiemaryrich) January 23, 2017
The controversy comes as Trump has repeatedly criticized SNL for being “totally biased” and called actor Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of him a “hit job.”
Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2016
.@NBCNews is bad but Saturday Night Live is the worst of NBC. Not funny, cast is terrible, always a complete hit job. Really bad television!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2017
Former cast member and Upper Darby native Tina Fey has defended the show, saying in an October interview that the writers and co-stars she worked with never took political sides.
"We spent so much time and care on making sure everything was a fair hit," Fey said. "We never, ever went into it thinking, 'We gotta protect Obama' or 'We gotta make [the Republicans] look bad.' Audiences can smell when a sketch is tipped."
This isn’t the first time SNL has received criticism for mocking a president’s children. Back in 1993, then-cast member Mike Myers was forced to apologize for a "Wayne's World" sketch co-starring Dana Carvey in which the pair mocked President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea.
"We felt, upon reflection, that if it was in any way hurtful, it wasn't worth it," executive producer Lorne Michaels said at the time. "She's a kid, a kid who didn't choose to be in public life."
Chelsea Clinton defended Barron, posting a message on Twitter that he "deserves to be a kid."
Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing @POTUS policies that hurt kids.
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 22, 2017