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This Star Called Susan Sarandon a "Self-Righteous Narcissist"

This heated Twitter feud started six years ago over political differences.

Whenever two celebrities get into a disagreement—online or off—it tends to be called a "feud" no matter how brief it is. But when it comes to Susan Sarandon and Debra Messing, they've had a back-and-forth that's lasted years. Their disagreement began during the 2016 presidential election, in which they both supported different candidates, and hasn't really let up since. At one point, Messing went so far as to call Sarandon a "self-righteous narcissist." Read on to find out more about this dramatic online battle.

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The Susan Sarandon-Debra Messing feud started in early 2016.

Debra Messing at the "Will & Grace" FYC event in 2018
DFree / Shutterstock

In March 2016, Sarandon appeared on All In with Chris Hayes, and said (via People), "I think a lot of people are like, 'Sorry, I just can't bring myself to vote for [Hillary Clinton].' Some people feel that Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately if he gets in. Things will really explode." Sarandon was a supporter of candidate Bernie Sanders.

With her quote taken out of context, Sarandon faced backlash, including from Messing. The Will & Grace star wrote on Twitter, "Susan Sarandon muses tht Trump prezcy wud b better 4 the country thn Hillary. Wonder if she'd say that if she were poor, gay, Muslim or immgrnt." In another tweet, she added, "the idea that Susan Sarandon wud say that NOT supporting Hillary in a HRC/Trump race is a legitimate choice for Democrats, is insane."

Sarandon responded, "For those passionate, principled independents & first-time voters who would not be voting … if it weren't for Sanders & whose interests HC doesn't represent, it is a dilemma." She also cleared up her thoughts in a tweet, writing, "LOL that I would ever vote Trump."

Sarandon then spoke about the Twitter fight in a TV interview.

Susan Sarandon on "Watch What Happens Live" in 2016
Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen / YouTube

A month later, Sarandon appeared on Watch What Happens Live and was asked if she ever spoke to Messing in person. "Did I talk to her offline? No. It was enough to talk to her online," the Thelma & Louise star said.

She explained that she didn't "blame Debra completely," because a big part of the issue was her quote being misconstrued online. But she did add, "Debra just has too much time on her hands. She just kept going and going and going. I said, OK, Debra, just report me to the homeroom teacher and let's just stop, but she did not."

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The battle of words kept going.

Debra Messing at her Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony in 2017
DFree / Shutterstock

In Nov. 2016, Sarandon responded to a tweet about Trump and wrote, "Reach out in dialogue to those who voted 4 him. We can't afford a blanket judgement of them. We need allies in that camp. Possible."

To this, Messing tweeted, "NOW she wants to give racist, islamophobic, homophobic, sexist, mysogynists [sic] a chance! 'Pure' 4 Bernie. [Expletive] everyone else."

Messing also tweeted, "She encouraged ppl to vote for Trump over HRC on a news interview. Said she was more 'dangerous.' She needs to be held accountable."

As reported by Us Weekly, around this time, Sarandon was also tweeting at Messing to speak out against the Dakota Access pipeline. "Outreach to ur followers wld b effective coming frm u," Sarandon wrote.

The feud was brought up again in 2017.

Susan Sarandon on "Watch What Happens Live" in 2017
Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen / YouTube

In 2017, Sarandon made another appearance on Watch What Happens Live, and this time she called Messing "Trumpian."

"She's not very well informed," Sarandon said. "And so sometimes she gets in areas that she hasn't really thought through. Maybe she's Trumpian a little bit like that. I don't have anything against her personally. Sometimes I have to say, but you don't have the information."

Sarandon added that she has seen Messing at New York Rangers games, but "she never says anything to me in person."

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Messing slammed Sarandon once more in 2018.

Debra Messing at the 2021 Tony Awards
Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

In Sept. 2018, Sarandon was interviewed by Variety and shared that "unintentionally" Trump's presidency "energized" people—particularly women and people of color—to run for office and to get elected.

Messing responded to Variety's tweet about the interview and wrote, in part, "Oh yes, PLEASE let's give Trump CREDIT." After delving into some of Trump's policies in additional tweets, she concluded, "Only a self righteous, narcissist would continue to spout off and not – in the face of Americans' pain and agony -be contrite and apologize for your part in this catastrophe. But, you do you Susan."

Sarandon wrote back, "Debs, before you get yourself all self-righteous try clicking on the video and listening to what I actually say, not @Variety's clickbait headline, which btw has no quotation marks. That's a clue…"

And she came for Sarandon again in 2019.

Susan Sarandon at the Venice Film Festival in 2017
Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock

In Aug. 2019, Messing tweeted, "Hey Susan Sarandon, how are you liking the revolution?" in an apparent reference to her quote on All In with Chris Hayes. 

Sarandon responded, "Happy so many ideas labeled impossible/radical in 2016 like Medicare 4 All, fighting climate change, $15 min wage & tuition free college are now mainstream & supported by majority. Racial, economic & social injustice must be addressed with systemic change. You're welcome to join."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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