(LifeSiteNews) – A conservative actor was detained at the airport while traveling home from a Daily Wire movie premiere, held in custody overnight, and charged with multiple misdemeanors related to the January 6, 2021 protests in the nation’s capital.
Siaka Massaquoi, a Christian actor with satirical site The Babylon Bee and a contributor to RedState, was on his way home from Nashville, Tennessee with Charlotte, his wife, when agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested him. Massaquoi was returning from the premiere of the Daily Wire’s original movie “Lady Ballers” – which mocks the growing trend of male athletes “identifying” as women and then dominating female sports – in which Massaquoi plays a basketball announcer.
The actor was arrested on Thursday, November 30, the day after the red-carpet event in Nashville. According to a GiveSendGo account launched after the incident, Massaquoi was “separated from his [pregnant] wife and abruptly arrested by the FBI” when their flight from Nashville landed in California.
“At the time, Charlotte was told the charges had to do with January 6th; however, she was not presented with any arrest warrant,” the fundraiser wrote. “Siaka was taken to Monterey Park Jail where he stayed overnight and was told that he was being charged with four misdemeanors pertaining to his presence outside of the Capital [sic] Building in Washington, D.C. on January 6th.”
The actor, who is also Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County (LAGOP), is expecting his first child with his wife, who is due in March 2024. Their home was raided almost three years before his arrest last week, at which time Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) didn’t charge him.
Massaquoi has reportedly “been scrutinized at airports for several years but has never been formally charged for anything” until his arrest. The GiveSendGo is requesting financial assistance for upcoming legal fees and asks for prayers for the Massaquoi family.
Following the incident, the actor received public support from prominent conservatives on social media. Daily Wire co-founder Jeremy Boreing, who directs and stars in “Lady Ballers,” expressed support for the actor, writing that “Siaka is a good man and a huge talent.”
He also criticized the FBI for making the arrest “three years after the event and after raiding his house and not charging him.” Boreing described the misdemeanor charges as “absurd.”
Siaka is a good man and a huge talent.
The FBI arresting a man at the airport three years after the event – and after raiding his house and not charging him already – and then only charging him with misdemeanors is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard. https://t.co/7oZLdm6tjn
— Jeremy Boreing (@JeremyDBoreing) December 2, 2023
Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon posted on X (formerly Twitter) that he “couldn’t believe” Massaquoi had been arrested. He described the FBI’s actions as “political persecution.”
If you’ve watched our Californians Move to Texas series, then you’re already familiar with Siaka. You know how funny and talented he is. But he isn’t just a talented actor and friend of the Babylon Bee; he also happens to be a Trump supporter. And he’s being punished for it by… pic.twitter.com/xut53ZNHtI
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) December 2, 2023
CEO of X, Elon Musk, commented on Seth Dillon’s post to say that “this has gone too far.”
This has gone too far
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 2, 2023
The January 6 controversy continues almost three years after a large protest was held outside the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Supporters of former president Donald Trump gathered in protest of the 2020 presidential election which, they argued was corrupted. While some protestors brawled with police, videos show others being let into the Capitol by police, and simply walking the halls of the building.
The incident landed Trump with “conspiracy” charges and many other American citizens have been sentenced to considerable time in federal prison. Conservatives have consistently expressed frustration over what they view as an overreactive response from the FBI. The incident has also sparked ongoing controversy about Ray Epps, who was caught on video encouraging protestors to illegally storm the Capitol, and whether federal agents had a role in encouraging the Capitol breach. The protest also resulted in a prison sentence, probation, and fines for a former GOP candidate for governor of Michigan.