On November 11, YouTube user James Hunter posted a video titled ‘Is Barron Trump Autistic? #StopTheBullying’. The video showed Barron Trump, 10, clapping for his father's appearance at the RNC. The video had gained over two million views since first being shared and has attracted the media’s attention.
Rosie O'Donnell reposted the video, writing ‘Is Baron Trump autistic, if so - what an amazing opportunity to to bring attention to the AUTISM epidemic.’ Many parents and friends of those with autism replied to O’Donnell, saying that her post was ‘evil’ and not meant to spread awareness, and that she only posted it because of a long time feud with Donald Trump. After O’Donnell saw the responses, she explained on her website that her own daughter was diagnosed with autism in September.
In response, Melania Trump hired a lawyer who is threatening a lawsuit over what she called the ‘slanderous’ video. Trump claimed that his ‘odd’ behavior was normal for a ten year old late at night, and stated that he was simply tired. Melania Trump did not threaten to sue Rosie, but Melania’s attorney demanded that the YouTuber who posted the video, James Hunter, take down the video and state an apology.
The YouTuber who posted the video, however, waited a day to gain more views and run ads for monetization, a process where YouTube will pay the user for high traffic videos. The original video gained well over two million views. It cannot be found, however, it is probably still out there. After removing the controversial video, Hunter posted a video titled ‘My Apology to Melania and Barron Trump.’ The apology video has racked up more than 476,000 views, however it should be noted that ads are still running on the video, meaning that Hunter is making money off of his apology. Hunter’s account was created on November 10, 2016. He has four thousand subscribers and no other content besides the apology video. His message seems sincere in the video, however it is unclear if he feels sorry or is using it as an opportunity to make more money. In the description of the video, he states ‘This is my official retraction and apology in regards to my 7-minute YouTube video titled: "Is Barron Trump Autistic? #StopTheBullying" I retract all statements made in that video, and I sincerely want to apologize to the Trump family, especially to Melania and Barron Trump.’