While you might or might not have spent the past week debating family members on whether Die Hard is a holiday movie, President Donald Trump focused on another pressing matter. Specifically, he wanted to know why his stunt cameo in: Home Alone 2: Lost In New York was cut for the film's Canadian television broadcast.
Before we get into conspiracy theories and political vendettas, the answer is simple: Run time. On Thursday (December 26), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation explained that the scene in which Kevin McAllister (Macauley Culkin) asks Trump for directions to the Plaza Hotel's lobby had been cut in 2014, so that the film, which clocks in at two hours and one minute of run time, could fit a more sensible television schedule. (Trump's cameo comprises an entire eight seconds in the film, Entertainment Weekly notes.)
"These edits were done in 2014 when we first acquired the film and before Mr. Trump was elected president," the statement by CBC head of public affairs Chuck Thompson read, per CNBC.
The clarification came mere hours after the President's son, Donald Trump, Jr., retweeted a news post by a right-wing website that called the time cut "pathetic."
But it also didn't stop the president from trying to twist the decision into a commentary on his international relations, which are notoriously fraught. Several hours after the CBC's clarification, he retweeted a local Fox affiliate's report, which contained the statement, and said, "I guess Justin T[rudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada] doesn't much like my making him pay up on NATO or Trade [sic]!" He later retweeted a Fox News segment that called the cut "censorship" and added, "The movie will never be the same! (just kidding)."
This isn't the first time Trump has taken a swipe at Trudeau on Twitter this month. After video surfaced showing the Canadian leader laughing incredulously with other world leaders about an impromptu press conference Trump commanded at the annual NATO summit, the president called him "two faced" and doubled down on the claim that Trudeau objects to Trump's insistence that Canada spend more of its GDP on defense. Trudeau called the video a surprise, and suggested that his own team's jaws dropped upon its release.
According to several Hollywood heavyweights, including Matt Damon and director Adam McKay, movies that feature Trump-branded properties have often featured the man himself as part of the deal to obtain filming rights. Both McKay and Damon said their films ultimately cut the cameo scenes before the movies ever hit theaters, while Home Alone 2 left the scene in; at the time of the movie's filming, Trump was the owner of the Plaza Hotel, until bankruptcy resulted in its resale, at $75 million less than what he had paid for it several years prior.