The redditor who took credit for creating the infamous meme featuring Donald Trump beating up CNN in a wrestling match is sorry for the reactions the video sparked, and has taken to Reddit today in order to apologize.
“I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semetic [sic]. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life.”
The user, who calls himself “HanAssholeSolo” on the site, has also announced he leaving Reddit. “This is my last post from this account and I wanted to do it on a positive note,” the user said. “[H]opefully it will heal the controversy that this all caused. Peace.”
“HanAssholeSolo” has attempted twice to post the apology to the Reddit subgroup “r/The_Donald,” where the meme was initially posted. However, the apologies were deleted, apparently by the group’s moderators, and comments on each post were locked. “Posting my apology again mods locked it and don’t know why,” “HanAssholeSolo” said in the second attempt.
Read screen shots of the full apology below, captured before the post was deleted.
The original meme — a grainy mirror image of a scene from a 2007 WrestleMania stunt involving Trump and WWE CEO Vince McMahon — shows a pink-tie-wearing Trump jumping a suited figure on the side of a wrestling ring, tossing him to the ground and then punching him in the face before walking away in triumph.
It set off a firestorm on Sunday after it was tweeted out without attribution by Donald Trump’s official Twitter account. The situation escalated after journalist Jared Yates Sexton identified “HanAssholeSolo” as the meme’s creator and noted that some of the user’s other reddit posts were antisemitic, after which Sexton says he was subjected to a torrent of abuse from Trump supporters. “I was told people wanted to shoot, strangle me, hang me, throw me out of a helicopter,” Sexton said Monday. “Some assumed I was Jewish because I spoke out against antisemtisism. others said I was a race traitor.”
Sexton also added that videos showed up on “Neo-Nazi websites” depicting “Goebbels telling me not to test his patience.”
“HanAssholeSolo” is reported to have made venomous comments about Muslims, liberals and African Americans on Reddit. However, online detectives noted that the user had edited previous posts to remove the N-word, as well as comments about killing Muslims, according to Quartz via Slate – most likely because he/she predicted coming under public scrutiny after claiming ownership of the Trump/CNN wrestling meme.
According to Reddit Investigator, HanAssholeSolo had been active on Reddit since late 2015.