Did HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ Lowkey Troll the Trumps? Some Fans Think So
To honor Juneteenth, HBO allowed viewers to watch the entire first season of Watchmen for free. Fans are now revisiting the series, and some are pointing a key detail in Episode 6 that makes it look like the writers were lowkey trolling the Trump family.
What is ‘Watchmen’ about?
Based on a DC Comics’ graphic novel, HBO’s Watchmen is set in an alternate reality. In this world, the United States wins the Vietnam War, superheroes like Dr. Manhattan (Yahya Abdul-Mateen) and Angela Abar, aka Sister Night (Regina King) exist, and the police are forced to hide their identities.
But while the series features a fantastical alternate history, it also highlights the very real Tulsa Race Massacre (also known as the Black Wall Street Massacre) that took place in 1921. In the first episode, a young Black family tries to escape a Tulsa town square where Klan members are brutally beating and killing Black citizens, while planes drop bombs overhead. The scenes are based on a real-life event that many viewers were unaware of until they watched the show.
Trump’s Juneteenth rally plans renewed interest in the show
For his first major rally since the COVID-19 outbreak, President Donald Trump chose the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, the same city in which the 1921 massacre took place. And initially, he announced the date of the rally as June 19, which is also known as Juneteenth — the holiday commemorating the emancipation of the last enslaved Americans in the country.
The president’s announcement came off as tone-deaf to many, especially amidst the racial tensions, protests, and unrest surrounding George Floyd’s death. He later changed the date to June 20, but his decision to hold the rally in Tulsa ignited a new interest in the history of the massacre. In an interview with The Los Angeles Times, Watchmen executive producer, Nicole Kassel revealed that she felt sick when she heard about the rally.
“To know it’s so calculated and deliberate, that’s what’s very disturbing and scary,” said Kassel. “I don’t want him getting credit for changing the date by one day. You want to do the right thing, you want to show respect? You don’t hold a rally in that location.”
‘Watchmen’ fans spot a possible low-key troll of the Trumps
Upon revisiting Watchmen on HBO, some fans are pointing out a key detail that just maybe a troll on the Trump family. In Episode 6, when Angela Abar accesses her grandfather, Will’s (Jovan Adepo) memories, she sees him encounter a man named Fred (Glenn Fleshler) who sets fire to a Jewish deli.
Will arrests the man but discovers that he has connections in the police department. Later, it is revealed that Fred and some of Will’s colleagues are part of Klan-like racist organization called Cyclops. Will then sees Cyclops members load weapons onto Fred’s truck, which is labeled, “F.T. & Sons.”
This scene got viewers wondering if the “F.T. & Sons” was a troll on President Trump and his father, Fred Trump. The latter owned a market in Queens in the 1920s. And he was also reportedly arrested during a Klan march in the city.
“In case you missed it, HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ depicts the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “It also captures how Donald Trump’s father Fred Trump was arrested at a riot started by the Ku Klux Klan in Queens in 1927. Great background reading for Trump’s Juneteenth rally!!!”
And adding more fuel to the theory, back when the episode aired, one of the series’ writers took to Twitter to hint at the connection. “Look up who owned Queens first supermarket… #Watchmen,” writer Claire Keichel wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
Showrunners haven’t confirmed if the character is based on Fred Trump or not. But, with all the similarities, the idea might not be too far-fetched.