Quick controversy erupted after parts of Melania Trump's Republican National Convention speech were discovered—well, is something a discovery if it's totally obvious from the get-go?—to be eerily similar to the speech Michelle Obama gave at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
As news outlets first started covering the incident, Trump's campaign initially decided to ignore the allegations entirely. In a statement, the campaign's senior communications advisor, Jason Miller, said, "Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking." He added, "Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success." After experts expressed no doubt that Trump's speech was totally, definitely plagiarism, a Trump Organization speechwriter took the blame and offered to resign for the mistake. The Trumps rejected her resignation, gracious and benevolent leaders that they are.
Read more: Unicorns Were Real and Ugly as Hell
What is perhaps most interesting in all this, however, is what happened yesterday, when Republican National Convention chief strategist Sean Spicer started addressing the claims head on. While speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Spicer said of the lifted portions, "We're talking about 70 words, three passages." Spicer then continued to liken those three passages, 70 words, to an unexpected source: Twilight Sparkle, the main character of the animated TV series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. "Melania Trump said, 'The strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them.' Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony said, 'This is your dream. Anything you can do in your dreams, you can do now,'" said Spicer.
From season one through three of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle was a female unicorn pony that transformed at the end of season three into an Alicorn, a pony character that has both a unicorn horn and Pegasus wings. Later in the episode, "Magical Mystery Cure," she becomes a princess. As of season 4, episode 26, Twilight Sparkle resides in the Castle of Friendship as its ruler.
In the wake of Spicer's pony-related defense, Tara Strong, the voice actress of Twilight Sparkle, tweeted of the comparison between her character and Melania Trump's speech, "This is not Pony Princess approved. I'm Twilight Sparkle & do not approve this message." The response of Bronies—adult male fans of My Little Pony—has also been swift. Equestria Daily, a popular Brony site, has an active forum thread about the Trump campaign's claims. Forum poster Alexander Liu took the opportunity to support a possibly third-party campaign writing "#TwilightSparkle4President2016 because Trump and Clinton are massive shitheads." Canadian Brony Foreign Candy wrote, "Good lord this election is an absolute joke. As a fellow neighbour of the north up in Canada, I feel truly sorry for my American brethren."
Maybe some folks at the RNC will check out the show and learn some lessons about the magic of friendship!
Others debated the controversy itself. A commenter named Mr. Baggus wrote, "Original speech was from a book. Michelle-O was not original." Others, such as commenter Redtutel, decried, "What is this country coming to these days? The wife of a presidential candidate plagiarists a speech, and a politician tries to dismiss it with a surprising knowledge of MLP quotes."
"I think people would be surprised how many Bronies lean toward the right when it comes to politics, but I've already seen a few conservative Bronies condemn Trump in reaction to the comments," Simeon Leonard, a Brony, told Broadly. Nevertheless, Leonard was optimistic about recent events, saying, "Maybe some folks at the RNC will check out the show and learn some lessons about the magic of friendship!"
Brony Tesla Cloud viewed Spicer's statements as an admission of guilt—that Melania Trump had not only plagiarized Michelle Obama's speech, but also Twilight Sparkle. Stating that Trump's speech was a "case of plagiarism [of My Little Pony] that should not be excused," Cloud told Broadly, "My Little Pony is original content. It's not just a silly little cartoon, so we care when people take things from the show and not give it credit."
When speaking to Broadly, James "Coder Brony" Turner, the president and chairman of the board of the Brony Thank You Fund and creator of the Brony Herd Census & State of the Herd Report, said, "The general [Brony] sentiment is one of bemusement. There's always a bit of amazement in fandom when My Little Pony gets this kind of wide exposure."
Turner then clarified that "Bronies, in general, try to keep their politics to themselves."
"In my opinion, there's an unspoken understanding that politics is an inherently divisive topic that would strain the 'love and tolerate' ethos of the fandom," he added. Turner also noted an important point in the My Little Pony space–time continuum. "Ms. Obama made her speech two years before Friendship Is Magic came on air, so it would have required one of Twilight Sparkle's time-traveling spells for the 2008 DNC speech to plagiarize Twilight's."