Jarrett Hill, the Twitter user who first famously accused Melania Trump of lifting passages from a 2008 Michelle Obama speech, has a widely varied career in video, media, and interior design, and he’s written negative comments about Donald Trump in the past. He was laid off from a TV reporting job last year and was watching the Republican National Convention at a California coffee shop, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Hill tweeted the comparison to Michelle Obama’s speech shortly after Melania’s speech at the Republican National Convention. Within hours, many national news outlets were also noting the similarities. Within minutes, the plagiarism allegations were big national news. The San Diego Union-Tribune credited him with first spotting the similarities, as did others.
CNN wrote of Melania’s talk that “it emerged that portions of the speech were plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention.” Politico said the two speeches “bore a striking resemblance.”
Who is Jarrett Hill?
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jarrett Hill’s Website Is Devoted to Home Design & He Has a YouTube Channel of Interior Design Projects
On Twitter, Hill describes himself as “Host. Journalist. Interior Designer. DIY Enthusiast. Dope Cook. Carb-assassin. Mindfully daring greatly. Allegedly ENFJ.”
His Twitter page directs people to a website in his name, but it appears to be advertising home design services. That website, in turn, directs people to a YouTube channel in which Hill appears in videos on interior design.
The videos on his YouTube channel are titled things like, “DIY: Smith Guest Room Makeover – This is How We Did It with Jarrett.” On Facebook, he described one project, saying, “Next up in the This Is How We Did It series, a client wanted their new home’s hall way to feel more like an art gallery. Here are a few tips to do the same thing.”
2. Hill Has Worked in Entertainment Media, Writes for The Huffington Post & Has Worked On a Cruise Ship
According to his bio on The Huffington Post, Hill was born in northern California and “has a varied background. With years of television and radio experience, he’s found himself working at CNN’s world headquarters in Atlanta and hosting shows and events around the world on cruise ships.”
The bio added: “In 2015, he began Jarrett Hill Design, turning his years-long love of design (and many years of doing it for free) into an interior design firm.” Hill’s columns on the Huffington Post site involve topics ranging from the Orlando mass shooting to homophobia.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Hill is laid off and “lost his TV reporting job last year” just after his 30th birthday.
Hill’s LinkedIn page says he is the host of a weekly podcast in Los Angeles, and has worked previously for about a year as a Digital Reporter/Producer at Now Tampa Bay in Florida. His media experience appears to focus on entertainment television, although not entirely.
According to his LinkedIn page, Hill was a producer for “The Ride Home: A Documentary,” which he describes as a documentary about a woman with an incarcerated father. He was a casting associate for Howie Mandel’s “Deal With It,” was a “Strategic Marketing & Graphics Consultant” for an Atlanta AIDS Walk, and was a production assistant for “The Talk” on CBS and “The Ricki Lake Show.” He was also an activities and cruise director for Celebrity Cruises, Inc., worked in post-production for “America’s Next Top Model,” was a producer of a satellite radio show, was a production assistant for a TV station in Atlanta, and was an intern at various media outlets, including at CNN.
He filmed a series of satirical videos of things he doesn’t care about and put them on YouTube. In one video about things he didn’t care about, Hill listed Shakira and the Pope. For example, he said he didn’t care that the Pope takes a bus instead of a car.
He hosted the 2016 Stonewall Community Foundation: Vision Awards in New York, according to his Instagram site. In 2016, Mia Farrow’s son, Ronan, received an award. The Foundation helps New York’s LGBTQ community.
3. He Has Written Negative Comments About Donald Trump Before
On Twitter, Hill has made it clear that he is no Trump supporter. He’s also written commentaries on recent police shootings and disparities in public outrage regarding them. His posts aren’t only political, though; he’s also written on topics like the BET awards.
Among his negative tweets about Trump:
He’s also written about a desire for less polarized politics, writing, “Somehow our country has become so black and white (metaphorically and literally). We have so little room for grey…Is no one pro-life AND for gun control? …Is there a candidate that’s for marriage equality AND telling Iran where they can stick their deal?”
4. Hill Expressed Shock When His Tweet on Melania’s Plagiarism Took Off & Was Watching The Convention in a Starbucks
Hill’s tweets make it clear he was watching the Republican National Convention, and at first noticed a smaller similarity between Melania’s talk and Michelle Obama’s in 2008. The Los Angeles Times says he was “sitting at a corner table Monday night in a Culver City Starbucks, drinking a venti iced coffee” and watching a live stream of the convention when he recognized a phrase used by Melania as one he recalled Michelle Obama saying.
It didn’t take long for Hill to realize he had started, as he put it, “a thing.”
5. He Has Appeared On a Radio Show With The Sister of Ron Goldman, Who Died With Nicole Brown Simpson
Goldman is a co-host of the show, called “Broadscast,” which is described on its Facebook page as “a multi-media platform (radio show, podcast, video series and blog) for women that tackles trending topics and hot button issues with candor, honesty and a sense of humor.”
The show’s Facebook page applauded Hill for spotting the Melania/Michelle speech similarities, writing, “Melania plagiarized Michelle Obama? Wow! Our friend & studio designer Jarrett Hill rocked this!”
Hill has tweeted about appearing on the show:
The show’s Twitter page also indicated no great love for Trump: