When you're as rich as Donald Trump, you can afford to pay people to pretend they like you.
During Donald Trump's now infamous meandering off-the cuff campaign kick-off speech Tuesday, he proudly said "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created." Who knew that he would have made good on that campaign promise so quickly by creating jobs for actors?
According to a blog post on Medium by Media Matters vice president Angelo Carusone, The Donald's campaign allegedly hired background extras to pose as supporters at the kick-off event announcing his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president.
"Something just felt off about it to me," Carusone wrote. "But, I couldn't quite place it. Was it the staging? The crowd? My initial thought was, 'I bet Trump is paying some of those people to be there.' "
Carusone's suspicions were confirmed when he came across a photo on social media of actor Domenico Del Giacco at the event wearing a Trump T-shirt and holding a "homemade" campaign sign. Del Giacco is known for posting photos of his acting gigs on social media. Further solidifying his theory that there were paid shills at the Trump event Tuesday was the presence of actress Courtney Klotz standing next to Del Giacco in the photo.
The Instagram photo has since been deleted, as has Mr. Del Giacco's account.
Picking up on Carusone's lead, the Hollywood Reporter dug up an email sent from New York-based background casting agency Extra Mile Casting. The email sent out to Extra Mile's clients read:
We are working helping one of are associates out at Gotham GR -with a big event happening on TUESDAY 6/16/15.
This is an event in support of Donald Trump and an upcoming exciting announcement he will be making at this event.
This event is called "People for a Stronger America." The entire group is a pro-small business group that is dedicated to encouraging Donald Trump and his latest ventures. This event will be televised.
We are looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement.
We understand this is not a traditional "background job," but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought.
This event is happening LIVE and will be from 8:45AM-11:30AM. LESS THAN 3 HOURS.
This will take place inside / interior.
The rate for this is: $50 CASH at the end of the event.
We would love to book you if you are interested and still available.
Please let us know and we will get back to you with confirmation.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that In politics, "astroturfing" is when people are hired to attend a rally or event in order to lend the appearance of grassroots support. They are typically contracted out to political consulting firms, much like Gotham GR. The practice is unsurprisingly considered bad form.