As a year of political turbulence finally draws to an end, it somehow didn’t seem as bizarre as it should have been that a Hollywood actor would pontificate on a skirmish in the House of Commons.
Rob Lowe, a favourite of political nerds after starring as Sam Seaborn in several series of the US TV show The West Wing, appears to be in the UK filming an ITV crime series.
So it was presumably during a break from filming when he came across the viral clip of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn muttering something about Theresa May following a heated exchange in the Commons.
Many suggested he uttered “stupid woman”. The Labour Party quickly denied the accusation, claiming he said “stupid people”, referring generally to MPs on the opposite benches.
In any case, Lowe had made up his mind, tweeting: “FYI – I have to say, I saw Jeremy Corbin call the Prime Minister ‘stupid woman’ with my own eyes watching on @SkyNewsPolitics.”
Television cameras picked up the Labour leader saying something to those sat with him after the Prime Minister likened his attempt to force a confidence vote in her to a Christmas pantomime.
The video footage went viral on social media on Wednesday afternoon and sparked a furious debate in the Commons, with Tory MPs demanding Mr Corbyn be brought back to apologise.
As news outlets employed lip readers to interpret the comments, Twitter users were split on which side to take.
One user told Lowe in no uncertain terms what his view was, saying “your lip reading leaves a lot to be desired, much like your acting”, to which the St Elmo’s Fire star responded: “Amazing!”
Corbyn was forced to deny calling Theresa May a “stupid woman” as the final Prime Minister’s Questions of the year sparked a heated row over misogyny.
After being asked to come back and address MPs he flatly denied using the sexist phrase, telling MPs: “I referred to those who I believe were seeking to turn a debate about the national crisis facing our country into a pantomime as ‘stupid people’.
“I did not use the words ‘stupid woman’ about the Prime Minister or anyone else, and am completely opposed to the use of sexist or misogynist language in absolutely any form at all.”
May had suggested Corbyn apologise if he had indeed used “inappropriate language” as the row overshadowed a heated PMQs that focused on the ongoing Brexit impasse.