Poor ol’ Donald Trump. His 2016 presidential bid announcement gave late night comedians a lot of ammo for jokes, but this new tidbit of information will cause a new wave of roasting. The real estate millionaire actually paid actors $50 to cheer for him during his speech, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Brooklyn Wants Trump!” and “#Trump Loves America” are some of the signs “supporters” were seen holding during the mogul’s speech on Tuesday, but there’s a possibility that they were just acting. According to THR, Extra Mile Casting — a New York-based booking agent — sent out an e-mail looking for background actors to cheer for Trump.
“We are looking to cast people for the event to wear t-shirts and carry signs and help cheer him in support of his announcement,” the email, obtained by THR, said. “We understand this is not a traditional ‘background job,’ but we believe acting comes in all forms and this is inclusive of that school of thought.”
Extra Mile said that it was offering its clients $50 for a three-hour stint at the Trump event.
It became apparent that Trump’s so-called “audience” was questionable when anti-Trump activist Angelo Carusone recognized a background actor, known as Domenico Del Giacco, in an Instagram photo. Carusone took a screengrab of the picture and blogged about the peculiar scene.
“Something just felt off about it to me. But, I couldn’t quite place it. Was it the staging? The crowd? My initial thought was, ‘I bet Trump is paying some of those people to be there.’ I talked myself out of that thought initially because…I mean…c’mon. This was supposed to be a presidential campaign event,” Carusone wrote.
But then, Carusone spotted Del Giacco.
“The gentleman who posted the pic is a paid actor who regularly posts photos from his gigs on social media,” she said. The Instagram post was later deleted — in fact, Del Giacco deleted his entire Instagram account.
When THR contacted Extra Mile about the email, the agency said, “We know nothing about that.” THR also got in touch with Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski who said he’s never even heard of Extra Mile.
“Mr. Trump draws record crowds at almost every venue at which he is a featured speaker,” Lewandowski said. “The crowds are large, often record-setting and enthusiastic, often with standing ovations.”