Republican Rep. Paul Gosar has sparked outrage online after he posted a photoshopped anime video to his Twitter and Instagram accounts showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Joe Biden with two swords.
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to the video on Monday saying a “creepy member” of the House had “shared a fantasy video of him killing me.”
“And he’ll face no consequences bc @GOPLeader cheers him on with excuses,” the New York Democrat added.
As part of the initial tweet, Gosar shared a link to the video and asked his followers, “Any anime fans out there?”
In the video, Gosar is depicted as a cartoon anime-type hero and is seen attacking Ocasio-Cortez with a sword from behind, who then crumbles to the ground.
This is sick behavior from Rep. Paul Gosar. He tweeted out the video showing him killing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez from both his official account and personal account. In any workplace in America, if a coworker made an anime video killing another coworker, that person would be fired. pic.twitter.com/0ygBfE6bEL
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 9, 2021
Another scene shows Gosar flying through the air, swinging two swords at an anime character with President Biden’s face.
Jessica Lycos, Gosar’s Digital Director, said in a statement to The Washington Post on Monday night, “Everyone needs to relax.”
Gosar later tweeted a similar sentiment on Tuesday morning, using another meme that included the phrase, “It’s a cartoon. Relax.”
In a press release, four Democrats who co-chair the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (Democratic Reps. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Debbie Dingell of Michigan, Ted Lieu of California and Joe Neguse of Colorado), wrote, “In any other job in America, if a coworker made a video killing another coworker, that person would be fired.”
They then called on McCarthy to take action, writing “Mr. McCarthy needs to decide whether he will finally stand with the American people on the side of law and order or he will continue to support violence and chaos.”
Twitter said Monday evening that the video violated its rules on “hateful conduct” but did not remove the video, instead affixing a label to it that reads, “Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”
I gotta say this again: I got elected to Congress with Gosar. I served with Gosar. This is way beyond the pale. This is just pure incitement. He must be censured. He should not run again. He needs help. He’s fucking nuts. But Republicans won’t do a damn thing to him. https://t.co/ExwMsUQeo9
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) November 9, 2021