Actor Don Cheadle chose to wear a t-shirt in his first stint hosting NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” that sent a clear message of support to transgender children and their families.
The actor, who currently stars in the Showtime series “Black Monday” about the 1987 Wall Street crash, was hosting SNL for the first time. Cheadle appeared on camera in the last 20 minutes to re-introduce the week’s musical guest, Gary Clark, Jr., wearing a black tee that proclaimed “PROTECT TRANS KIDS”.
He didn’t say anything related to the top’s message, but the actor best known for playing James “War Machine” Rhodes in Marvel’s “Avengers” movies was widely praised on Twitter and made headlines around the world by silently standing up for gender non-conforming children.
@princessjanaepl “Thank you @DonCheadle for your visibility & love for the trans community! #snl #DonCheadle #ProtectTransKids”
@TourguideTanya “I didn’t know that I could love Don Cheadle more. But I do. I really really do.”
@deAdder “Imagine being a trans kid, feeling all alone on a Saturday night watching television and then this happens. #DonCheadle #SaturdayNightLive #ProtectTransKids”
@DaShanneStokes “It’s a sad commentary on discrimination in our country when an actor can show more compassion and leadership in one night with a simple t-shirt than is shown by a president and his entire administration after two years in power. #ProtectTransKids #DonCheadle”
Anti-transgender activists also tweeted their reactions, including one who accused Cheadle of advocating for “child abuse.”
At the conclusion of the show, Cheadle sent another message through his wardrobe choices, wearing a hockey jersey that resembled those worn by the Soviet Union team. The jersey was emblazoned with “CCCP” on the front and “TRUMP” and “45” on the back. The “r” in TRUMP was reversed as it appears in Russian, a clear reference to accusations President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to get elected in 2016.
Cheadle, an outspoken ally and longtime critic of the Trump administration, previously played the supportive straight father of a transgender child on Showtime’s ”House of Lies” series, and dad to a gay son in a music video by rapper Logic.