Part-time desert resident Mary Hart hosted President Trump’s Fourth of July event, leading to push-back from locals over social media.
Some are calling for an end to Hart’s relationship with the Palm Spring’s Film Festival.
“Yes it’s a free country, we do have free speech, but does the film festival want to be associated with somebody who is such a vociferous endorser of such a decisive character like President Trump?” said political analyst Hank Plante.
Hart has previously served as the grand Marshall of the festival of lights parade and has a star on the walk of fame downtown.
Palm Springs also held “Mary Hart Weekend” in December of 2019.
Federal Election Commission Data shows both Hart and her husband Burt Sugarman have made sizable donations to the President’s campaign over the last few years.
“You wouldn’t get this reaction if it was Mitt Romney or John McCain or President George W. Bush. But if you’re going to stand up there and endorse him, write him a check for tens of thousands of dollars, you’re going to pay a price,” said Plante.
Members of the East Valley Republican Women Federated feel the backlash is unfair.
“Trying to take Mary Hart’s status away just because she went and appeared on a thing that was about the country and not about his political career is crazy,” said Joy Miedecke, the president of the East Valley RWF.
The group’s president says removing her star or cutting ties could make local republicans feel unwelcome.
“Shame on them. What does that have to do with anything? That is so ridiculous. It’s pretty a much a judgment against Republicans and against conservatives so it’s not good,” said Miedecke.
During the event, Hart also made a gesture with her hand that has been the center of controversy.
In a statement, Hart says, “a white supremacist symbol? Are you kidding me? I would never use one and never knew that the ‘okay’ sign was anything but positive. My South Dakota parents instilled in me to respect everyone and that means everyone, no matter their skin color or religion. I was invited to my home state of South Dakota to introduce my friend, Gov. Kristi Noem, which I did. And I was proud to be at our great shrine of democracy, Mt. Rushmore.”
The Palm Springs Film Festival group did not provide a comment on the issue.