WASHINGTON — Academy Award-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson said he is not leaving the United States now that Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and that his previous threat to move out of the country was not his “personal opinion.”
Before the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song Tribute Concert to Smokey Robinson, Jackson posed for photos and began to leave the press area when he was asked if he is staying in the U.S. or leaving given the presidential election results.
“Does it look like my bags are packed?” Jackson said on Wednesday evening outside of the concert hall.
“I’m reading your Twitter,” this reporter said to Jackson.
“What did my tweet say?” Jackson responded.
Why y’all so anxious for me to leave?! I pay More Taxes than All U Trumpafukkaz… Him too!!
— Samuel L. Jackson (@SamuelLJackson) November 14, 2016
“I tweeted that. Just like [Trump] has a Twitter account — I used it,” Jackson said about his tweet that asked people why they are so anxious for him to leave. “I was doing a Jimmy Kimmel skit. I was portraying a magic 8-ball. Do you remember that? Did you see that? So why does everybody think that’s my personal opinion? Nobody attributes those first two questions to my personal opinion, so why do you think that’s my personal opinion?”
Other celebrities including Lena Dunham, Cher and Miley Cyrus said they would move out of the U.S. if Trump won.
Last June before the Republican National Convention, Jackson dismissed Trump as a serious presidential candidate, encouraging the media to stop talking about him and act like he is not running for office. “Well, let’s act like he’s not. Let’s talk about the person who really is running for president,” Jackson said on The View. “He’s just running for popularity. C’mon, just let it go.”
Jackson was the host of the concert for Smokey Robinson, who won this year’s Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Library of Congress. The event was pre-recorded in Washington on Wednesday evening. PBS stations will air the concert on Feb. 10, 2017.
“I’m glad to be here celebrating Smokey,” he said. “It’s a great honor.”