Patton Oswalt is known to argue about politics on Twitter, but on Thursday the comedian responded to an insult from someone who disagreed with him about President Trump by organizing his fans to help pay the man’s medical bills.
It started after Oswalt tweeted a rhyme that mocked something Trump said about his border wall plan, which is at the center of the government shutdown. Twitter user Michael Beatty responded to Oswalt’s tweet with an insult of his own: “I just realized why I was so happy you died in Blade Trinity!”
But instead of escalating, Oswalt looked over Beatty’s Twitter feed and learned he had established a Gofundme account to help pay bills after a hospitalization for sepsis and diabetic ketoacidosis, and fell into a coma. Oswalt urged his fans to donate.
“This dude just attacked me on Twitter and I joked back but then I looked at his timeline and he’s in a LOT of trouble health-wise,” Oswalt wrote. “I’d be pissed off too. He’s been dealt some s—ty cards — let’s deal him some good ones. Click and donate — just like I’m about to.”
Aw, man. This dude just attacked me on Twitter and I joked back but then I looked at his timeline and he’s in a LOT of trouble health-wise. I’d be pissed off too. He’s been dealt some shitty cards — let’s deal him some good ones. Click and donate — just like I’m about to. https://t.co/6zRdZ430WG
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 24, 2019
At that point Beatty had raised around $600, but after Oswalt donated $2,000, his fans joined him and within half an hour, donations exceeded the $5,000 Beatty was seeking.
“Patton. You have humbled me to the point where I can barely compose my words,” Beatty tweeted to Oswalt soon after. “You have caused me to take pause and reflect on how harmful words from my mouth could result in such an outpouring. Thank you for this and I will pass this on to my cousin who needs help. A cascade.”
Beatty later addressed the other people who donated, saying “I want to thank everyone who came to my aid with generous outpourings- and also to @pattonoswalt without whom I would not be the recipient of so much love and support. I’m not a man who ever cries but I had to wait to send this. And to quote Stuart on Big Bang ‘meat tonight!'”
The donations continued well into the day and by Thursday night, reaching more than $25,000.
“After today, I tend to think I’m a tempered Republican,” Beatty later told the Washington Post. “I’m having to reevaluate some of the things I’ve gone along with, The biggest thing I learned about [Oswalt] is that he is a man of character.”
What a great way to end the day. If you want to pay this forward, maybe find a GoFundMe for a furloughed government worker who’s feeling the pinch? Or make a big-ass haul o’ goodies to your local food bank? Something? Anything? https://t.co/FSEowiBuyn
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) January 25, 2019