Actor Peter Fonda apologized Wednesday for a tweet that called for President Donald Trump’s 12-year-old son to be caged with pedophiles because of the Trump government’s immigration policies, news outlets reported.
The “Easy Rider” star acknowledged he “went way too far” with the message, which prompted first lady Melania Trump to contact the Secret Service and Donald Trump Jr. to challenge the 78-year-old actor to “pick on someone a bit bigger.”
“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the massive giant asshole she is married to,” Fonda wrote in capital letters in his tweet, which he later deleted.
“I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television,” Fonda said in a statement to USA Today. “Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman called the tweet “sick and irresponsible,” The Hill reported.
Barron’s half-brother Donald Trump Jr. challenged Fonda to bully someone bigger, and disparaged the actor’s sister, Jane Fonda.
I didn’t think it was possible but @iamfonda found a way to be as disgusting as his sister Jane was when she stood with the enemy in Vietnam.
Doesn’t get more vile than wishing for a young boy to be raped by pedophiles.
There’s a special place in hell...
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 20, 2018
Trump Jr. also joined an outcry calling for Sony Pictures to edit Fonda out of the new film “Boundaries,” which is opening in limited release on Friday. “I wonder if they will apply the same rules to @iamfonda that they did to @therealroseanne,” the president’s eldest son wrote on Twitter.
Sony Pictures Classics called Fonda’s tweet “abhorrent, reckless and dangerous,” in a statement to Deadline, but said it wouldn’t pull or alter the film because Fonda has a “very minor role.” Such a change would penalize everyone who worked on the film, the company said.
The president on Wednesday signed an executive order reversing his administration’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, but more than 2,300 kids have already been detained apart from their families.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.