The Donut moved the crowd to tears on Wednesday’s edition of Fox’s The Masked Singer with his emotional rendition of Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful.” However, the man behind the pastry costume, former Dukes of Hazzard actor John Schneider, recently wrote a rather nasty opinion about President Joe Biden on X, the social networking platform that was once known as Twitter.
Schneider responded, “Mr. President, I believe you are guilty of treason and should be publicly hung.” Your son as well. What is your response? Regards, John Schneider.” Following his Masked Singer reveal, screenshots of Schneider’s tweet surfaced online.
Fox did not respond to the post. Schneider stated in a statement released to EW on Thursday, “Seriously, folks? This is my ultimate thought on the subject. I never said or indicated anything like that. Despite stories to the contrary, I did not call for violence or threaten the president of the United States in my post, as many other celebrities have done in the past. Before you believe this gibberish, I recommend that you re-read my original message and pay attention to the wording.”
“It’s my position, which I am entitled to have,” he continued, “that some of our nation’s leaders in Washington have lost their way, and corruption is rampant, both at home and abroad.” Transparency and accountability are essential for the survival of our constitutional system. That sentence contains no threat, implicit or otherwise.”
Prior to his revelation on The Masked Singer, the actor told Entertainment Weekly that playing the Donut helped him cope with the loss of his wife, Alicia Allain Schneider, who died in February. “It helped me heal,” he explained.
“I tell you, watching the judges react to the story and the songs was the most healing part of it for me.” Watching them cry, hearing their comments about Robin [Thicke] losing his father — there were a lot of people in pain. So I could tell the judges that my narrative, my own personal problems while performing the program, truly helped them.”
Schneider is hardly the first politically contentious contestant to appear on The Masked Singer. She routinely criticizes President Biden on social media. When the Jack in the Box was revealed to be discredited lawyer/conspiracy theorist/convicted fabulist Rudy Guilliani in 2022, host Ken Jeong reportedly stormed off the set.
“Ken has been incredibly vocal about how the previous administration handled many things but especially COVID-19 and has found a lot of what they’ve said not only wrong but dangerous,” a person familiar with the matter told PEOPLE at the time.
“To get someone who helped to spread misinformation and call into question the accuracy of our election and democracy to appear on his show was going to set him off.”