After TIME refuted the president's claim on Friday that the magazine had contacted him about being named Person of the Year, celebrities took to Twitter to mock Trump mercilessly. The trend quickly caught on, but the way NSYNC’s Lance Bass trolled Donald Trump is sure to have you missing the 1990s.
In a tweet, Trump had claimed that he would “PROBABLY” be given the title of Person of the Year for a second year in a row, but that he “took a pass” on the offer. After Trump’s claim was debunked by TIME, celebrities like Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Andy Murray jokingly imitated the president, saying that they were offered titles like “comedienne of the year” or “sports personality of the year,” but decided to turn them down. And soon, Bass joined in.
Since leaving NSYNC, Bass has dabbled in a number of different interests outside of the music industry. He tried to go to space — a mission that, sadly, ended when he could not muster the funds to complete the mission. He hosted a gay reality dating show, Finding Prince Charming. The former teen heartthrob also became active in a number of causes, serving as an ambassador for the Vanderpump Dog Foundation and Rescue Center and joining the Environmental Media Association.
More recently, Bass has commented occasionally on politics, sporting a jacket at the MTV Video Music Awards last summer that said “Love Trumps Hate” and telling Fox News in March that “we can’t rely on our president for the first time in history.” But this time, Bass had some fun with ‘90s nostalgia, joking that Tiger Beat had called him up to be “Boybander of the year.”
Any child of the '90s will recognize Bass's reference to Tiger Beat, the beloved teen magazine that published myriad covers of NSYNC — many of which were plastered on bedroom walls.
Bass's comment that he had "a long awaited appointment to frost [his] tips" added an extra dose of '90s nostalgia to the tweet. Tiger Beat took no time to respond, tweeting that they love the former NSYNC'er, "frosted tips or not."
The tweet quickly drew praise from fans.
In some ways, Bass is the relic of an era that Trump looks back on fondly. While Bass was crooning his way to boy band stardom, the now-president was making the covers of New York City tabloids, investing in real estate throughout Manhattan (which he’d later lose money on), and trying to prove himself as a master of “The Deal.”
As Marie Brenner’s 1990 Vanity Fair profile of Trump reveals, the president has changed little over the past 20-some years — his reputation among women remains controversial, and his relationship with reality shaky. But for whatever reason, this is the era that Trump remains fixated on, as his obsession with TIME indicates. As Adrienne Lafrance pointed out in her article about the president’s TIME fixation for The Atlantic: “Donald Trump is a man whose concept of wealth is all Manhattan circa 1989. And in Manhattan in 1989, TIME magazine was the king of the newsstand.”
Bass's tweet would indicate that he recognizes Tiger Beat may no longer be the hottest thing on newsstands. But for Trump, TIME is still very much the gold standard, even if it's lost readers over the years. At the very least, having a president that lives permanently in nostalgia sure makes for some interesting Twitter conversation.