LOS ANGELES – Former “Happy Days” star Scott Baio claims he has been barraged with death threats and accused of being a racist after posting an unflattering photo of Michelle Obama on Twitter along with the caption “WOW He wakes up to this every morning.”
Outraged users reportedly responded with angry Tweets such as “Scott Baio should be PUT DOWN and someone will PUT YOU DOWN.YOU; your WIFE and KID." Another Tweeter even went as far as to alter an image of Baio’s young child with the caption “this is what Scott Baio wakes up [to]." That photo has since been removed.
The controversy began after Baio had been Tweeting support for Massachusetts Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown Wednesday. He then decided to post the photo of Obama, before insisting it was all intended to be good fun.
"For New followers: I POST A LOT OF JOKES WITH PICS. They are JUST that, a joke. NOT targeting anyone. Laughter IS the best medicine."
The actor was also quick to defend himself from accusations that he was racist.
“I'm NOT racist for posting a pic of M.O. My WIFE'S BEST FRD IS BLACK, HELLO,” he Tweeted. “If YOU are born in AMERICA, U ARE AN AMERICAN. I don't insist on being called Italian-American. Therefore Black Amer are not Afr-Amer. Or that would mean people (white or black) born in Africa would be called African-Africans ... Just a thought to think about… If I'm racist, don't think I would have Directed shows like The Parkers & The Wayans Bros. or worked 41 eps w/ Victoria Rowell on D.Murder.”
“HATRED or RACIST??- Jennifer Lopez Calls Sarah Palin a Crazy B*tch on George Lopez Show!!!!," he posted. Lopez used the description "la cabrona," which is Spanish slang for “b**tch.”
Baio also said the threats had been reported to the FBI, although a representative from the FBI in Los Angeles was not immediately aware of any filings.
A rep for Baio declined to comment further on the situation.