Debra Messing Apologizes for Insensitive Selfie During UCLA Shooting: ‘I Am Heartbroken and Embarrassed’

Debra Messing
Debra Messing  Rob Kim/Getty Images

Debra Messing’s attempt to shed light on the horrors of gun violence backfired on Wednesday, June 1. The Will & Grace actress tweeted out a selfie of her “Under the Gun” T-shirt amid the tragic murder-suicide that occurred at UCLA yesterday.

"HORRENDOUS Watching news about shooting at UCLA with casualties while taking selfie to bring awareness to gun violence,” her since-deleted tweet read. In the photo, the 47-year-old actress sported an orange T-shirt in honor of the documentary that inspired it.

Messing removed the tweet after social media users dubbed it insensitive. In a Facebook post later that day, she apologized and explained her intention.

Police gather to begin search buildings on the UCLA campus as two people were killed in a shooting at UCLA on Wednesday morning, on June 1, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Police gather to begin searching buildings on the UCLA campus after two people were killed in a shooting at UCLA on June 1, 2016, in Los Angeles. Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

“I’d like to speak to the selfie I posted, part of a predetermined day of advocacy whose goal is to bring awareness to gun violence in America. We were all asked to post a picture today wearing this t-shirt,” Messing explained. “I was so shocked and struck by the horrible IRONY that yet another shooting was occurring as I was participating in this effort. In an effort to highlight the irony, I posted a picture referencing the breaking news. I am heartbroken and embarrassed that many people misconstrued my actions and that I caused offense," she continued. "The horrendous irony of the timing, I was hoping, would shine an even brighter light on the crisis and need for all of us to do something together to make the US safer. I am so truly sorry."

UCLA went on lockdown Wednesday after shots were fired in the engineering building. Mainak Sarkar has since been identified as the shooter. Sarkar, 38, shot and killed his professor William S. Klug before turning the gun on himself. The Los Angeles Times reports that Sarkar is also believed to have killed another woman in Minnesota that was named on his “kill list."

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