On Monday, President Biden kicked off what’s shaping up to be a busy and even historic week — one in which we’ll see everything from the continuing fallout from recent US bank failures to the possible indictment of President Trump — by issuing the first veto of his presidency and making time to hang out with the cast of Ted Lasso.
The White House decided to start hyping up the latter over the weekend, with Biden’s @POTUS Twitter account on Sunday tweeting out an image of what appears to be the Oval Office, above the door of which is taped the familiar yellow “Believe” sign that fans of the hit Apple TV+ series will instantly recognize.
As for the purpose of the gathering itself, cast members — including Lasso star Jason Sudeikis, as well as Hannah Waddingham, Jeremy Swift, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Toheeb Jimoh, Cristo Fernandez, and others — were on hand to chat with the President and First Lady about the importance of mental health, one of the recurring themes throughout Apple’s breakout hit series.
Fans of Ted Lasso will also appreciate the humor inherent in at least one interaction at the White House on Monday, wherein James Lance (the actor who plays journalist Trent Crimm on the show) got to ask Sudeikis a question in the White House briefing room on Monday:
As for President Biden, he said during his State of the Union speech this year that the country needs to place a greater emphasis on mental health. Inviting celebrities to the Biden White House to raise awareness of a particular issue also calls to mind the president’s Oval Office chat last year with the members of the K-pop group BTS, which was billed as an opportunity to call attention to a wave of anti-Asian sentiment in the US.
“People have really responded to that,” Sudeikis said in an interview with US Weekly in 2021 about the Apple show’s incorporation of mental health as a theme. “And myself and other people in the cast and the writing staff get messages daily from people thanking them for really opening their eyes to what it means to go to therapy and what it means for someone in their own life to go to therapy and just speaking about these things and taking the stigma off of any form of health whether it be nutrition or mental, emotional health.”
Soccer Without Borders, an organization that uses soccer as a means to improve the lives of underserved youth around the world, tweeted on Monday that “@TedLasso has shown the world what positive, holistic approach to coaching looks and feels like. Coaches are often first responders to mental health needs of young people. Thank you @brendanhunting and the Ted Lasso team for bringing the power of sport to the @WhiteHouse today!”