(The Center Square) – Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs’ press secretary Josselyn Berry resigned on Wednesday following sharp criticism over a tweet in the wake of the Nashville, Tennessee, school shooting.
When replying to a commenter on her tweet regarding transphobia, Berry tweeted a gif of a woman holding two guns while saying, “us when we see transphobes.”
“If you work in the progressive community and are transphobic, you’re not progressive. Period. End of story. It’s not hard to understand but you’re (sic) bigotry masquerading as feminism absolutely is,” she tweeted prior to the controversial reply.
In the Twitterverse, the governor’s press Secretary is getting sharp criticism over this tweet after the Nashville shooting yesterday. pic.twitter.com/QkSSHEisEO
— Cameron Arcand (@cameron_arcand) March 29, 2023
Berry’s tweet, which garnered millions of views, came just hours after the shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, where three adults and three children were killed.
The suspect was identified as transgender and was a former student at the school.
The governor’s office confirmed Berry’s resignation.
“The Governor does not condone violence in any form. This administration holds mutual respect at the forefront of how we engage with one another,” Hobbs said Wednesday. “The post by the Press Secretary is not reflective of the values of the administration.”
Republicans first called on Berry to step down or be fired from her role, and on Wednesday morning, Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts wrote a column calling for her removal.
“She had to go. Incitements to violence are reprehensible,” C.J. Karamargin, former communications director for Gov. Doug Ducey, told The Center Square.
“The job requirements for a press secretary or communications director are pretty straightforward: Rule 1, never do anything that reflects poorly on the boss or the office. Rule 2, never do anything that requires the boss or office to comment or explain. Rule 3, your opinions or positions on issues don’t matter. Never,” Karamargin continued.
Some defended Berry’s tweet by arguing that she was not inciting violence.
“She didn’t argue for the murder of Christians. You’re being completely ridiculous,” Save Our Schools Arizona Director Beth Lewis said in response to Republican Sen. T.J. Shope’s tweet on Berry making her account private.