Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Donald Trump tweets amateur campaign ad narrated by proud video game racist

The Illusive Man, a character voiced by Martin Sheen in the Mass Effect game series

Donald Trump—the personification of and punishment for everything terrible America has ever done—tweeted a thing earlier today, as is his wont. The candidate’s Twitter thing for this morning was a fan-created video called “Trump Effect.” Adorned by Trump with the caption “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!,” the video kicks off with some crowd-pleasing casual misogyny and then pivots into an almost coherent assemblage of blurry video clips and stock footage, with voiceover by Martin Sheen.


Presumably unbeknown to Trump—and to many of the followers who have retweeted the video more than 10,000 times—Sheen’s narration is lifted from the sci-fi video game series Mass Effect, in which the West Wing veteran voices a crypto-genocidal character called The Illusive Man. A shadowy, powerful figure who first appears in Mass Effect 2, The Illusive Man scorns alien races and seeks your character’s help to make humanity the supreme force in the Milky Way. That’s right: Out of all the game characters an amateur video editor could possibly reference, this Trump fan chose to highlight the words of an angry old white dude who practices racism on a galactic scale. It’s just another one of those crazy coincidences that give people the wrong idea about our soon-to-be 45th President Of The United States!

By this afternoon, YouTube had pulled “Trump Effect” because of a copyright claim filed by EA, the current publisher of Mass Effect. As this article was being published, though, the video could still be viewed in Trump’s tweet. In case it disappears altogether, we’ve embedded a copy above, so future historians can consider this pop-cultural Freudian slip and memorialize it as the moment when some people connected the dots and began to suspect that this Trump character might be sort of a crummy fellow.

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