Antonio Sabato Jr. claims that he’s been bullied endlessly in the days following his appearance at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Not only online, but by Hollywood directors who have blacklisted him. On July 18, the actor opened the RNC in Cleveland with a speech about why he’s supporting Donald Trump, calling him the “unity” candidate, who would secure borders and protect citizens. Sabato Jr. reached out to Variety to share what he says happened next.
Antonio Sabato Jr.: I think this country allows you freedom of speech. Anybody should be allowed to say whatever they want. When you’re in my business, you can’t talk about [conservative] politics. You just can’t. You’re attacked viciously in a way that I’ve never been attacked before.
On Twitter, there’s been name calling, and celebrities attacking me. That’s fine. I see it, but I don’t read it. I block them and delete them and move on. There’s so much negativity you can be taken into that. But I’ve also heard from celebrities: “If he can do it, I want to speak my mind too.” They are fed up with the way this country has been running and by all these lies.
I was never a politician. I care about my country. I put God first. For the last seven-and-a-half years, I’ve seen this country led by a leader that’s made mistakes. I spoke my mind about it. But because I’m in the industry, you can’t talk about that. The media and the liberals act the way they act: The will back up the president until the end. It’s been interesting. I’ve had fantastic directors who have said officially to my agents and managers they will never hire me again. They will never even see me for projects. That’s unfair. It’s just like Communism.
We’re in the business. You’re supposed to be hired based on your talent and abilities, not because of how you feel about politics or religion. But that’s how they do things. It’s not just me. I know a lot of people in the industry who are in the same boat. The reality is if you’re associated with the Republican Party, the casting directors and producers already blacklist you based on that. I know people that just showed up, they didn’t speak – and they are not getting work because of it.
Hollywood is very liberal, but they contradict themselves all the time. They don’t want the war, but they’ll have a president who voted for the war. Hollywood wants to help the entire world. They do the opposite— government under the Democratic Party has done absolutely nothing. I choose Trump. I support everything he’s going to do. A lot of people in America feel the same way.
The industry doesn’t like that. A lot of the bosses, a lot of the executives, they own the channels, they own the media. They donate millions to Hillary Clinton and President Obama. I’m just a normal dude speaking my mind. So be it. I will keep fighting for what I believe, and I will keep looking for work. My work and my life is based on God. My leader, the one I look up to, is Jesus Christ. I’ve seen people in the industry say, “I’m not going to talk to this guy, because he talks about Jesus Christ.” It shows the true personalities of these people. Well, I wouldn’t want to work with them anyway. But if I acted the same way as they did, I would never work for anybody. They are all with Hillary.
I think it’s a disgrace that the Democratic Party is using [the Khan family] for their own good. All of a sudden, we hear about a father losing his son? I send my condolences. But at the same time, they are using it for their own benefit. It’s not right. Hillary was for the war. The guy is talking about losing his son for a war that Hillary was part of.
I have my hands in all kinds of businesses. I’m never going to leave Hollywood. I’m going to go after it one way or another. I’m just speaking the truth — people don’t know how this business works. I feel strongly about the fact that Donald Trump is going to win. I think he’ll be elected in November.
This interview has been edited and condensed.