US President Donald Trump (left) gestures toward First Lady Melania Trump and his son Barron Trump. Photo / Getty Images
As we anxiously await the results of the US election, the eyes of the world are on Donald Trump and Joe Biden to see who will be the nation’s next president.
But for the teenagers of TikTok, a different – and rather unexpected – member of the Trump family has taken their attention: The president’s youngest son, Barron.
Multiple accounts on the platform are dedicated to the #SaveBarron movement, which emerged earlier this year, thanks to TikTok user @freebaron2020, in an attempt to “free” the 14-year-old from his father.
The videos are a mix of footage of Barron and monologues from users, stating that the teen does not agree with Trump’s politics, is unhappy in the White House and must be rescued by his fellow Gen Z cohort.
“He’s just a kid. I feel like he’s different than his father,” one user wrote in their video caption, while another wrote that they feel “he secretly hates his family”.
“He just wants to be a normal boy, going to games, parties and play on console, but his father isn’t allowing it,” one creator commented.
Unsubstantiated claims among the videos declare he’s not only banned from social media, but also from having friends and playing sports with his father.
“The fact that his dad doesn’t let him have social media, so he’ll probably never know about this army fighting for him here,” said another.
Clips with the hashtag on TikTok have now racked up more than 249 million views (to put that in perspective, while not entirely the same, the president only has 88 million followers on Twitter).
WHO IS BARRON TRUMP?
Throughout Trump’s term as president, Barron has remained largely out of the spotlight, with the White House press office appealing for his privacy after a Saturday Night Live writer tweeted an “insensitive” joke about the then-10-year-old (that resulted in her being suspended indefinitely from the show).
“It is a longstanding tradition that the children of presidents are afforded the opportunity to grow up outside of the political spotlight,” they said in a brief statement in early 2017.
“The White House fully expects this tradition to continue.”
After Barron’s clothes were criticised later that year, Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former president Bill and (Trump’s 2016 presidential opponent) Hillary Clinton, urged: “Leave Barron Trump alone and let him have the private childhood he deserves.”
This April, the internet’s fascination fell on Barron once more when Refinery 29 launched a “very serious investigation” into how tall he is, after pictures showed him “towering” over both of his parents.
And last month, First Lady Melania Trump wrote that her “fear came true” when, along with both she and her husband (and a bevy of other White House staff members), Barron tested positive to Covid-19.
In the candid article, Melania Trump said when she first tested positive: “Naturally my mind went immediately to our son.
“To our great relief he tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn’t help but think, ‘What about tomorrow or the next day?’ ” she wrote.
“My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive. Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms.”