Actor Tim Allen blazed headlines when he told Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday about how tough it is to be conservative in Hollywood.
“You’ve gotta be real careful around here,” Allen said. “You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes. This is like ’30s Germany.”
Perhaps some would say that Allen’s statement is hyperbolic, but it does highlight the fact that conservatives face discrimination in Hollywood and many who hold those beliefs must remain quiet about them out of fear of losing work.
Here are 11 Hollywood conservatives who have faced discrimination:
1. Kelsey Grammer. Grammer recounted an instance where he was once strong-armed into donating $10,000 to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and other Democrats at the behest of a sitcom director in order to maintain his job. In 2012, Grammer claimed that he wasn’t nominated for an Emmy for his performance on the Starz series Boss because of his Republican activism.
“I’m a declared out-of-the-closet Republican in Hollywood,” Grammer told Jay Leno. “Do I believe it’s possible that some young person, young voting actor – or even older voting member for the Emmys – would sit there and go, ‘Yeah, that’s a great performance, but ooh, I just hate everything he stands for?'”
Grammer won a Golden Globe for his role in Boss earlier that year.
2. Stacey Dash. Dash was the target of leftist fury when she announced via Twitter in 2012 that she would vote for Mitt Romney over Barack Obama. The actress told The Hollywood Reporter in a 2016 interview that job offers for acting “completely dried up.” She added that she faced some nasty pushback in Hollywood once she came out as a conservative:
Everybody tells me I’m racist. I’m a black Mexican. It’s absurd. White casting people have actually said to me, “You’re not black enough.” It’s the same as stereotyping white people, with ugly sweaters at Christmas and grandma drunk on eggnog. That’s not white people, and now they say black people have to think, act, speak and look a certain way in order be black enough.
Dash has also worked as a political pundit for Fox News, but the network decided to part ways with her in January.
3. Patricia Heaton. Heaton has said that “there are some people who have said they wouldn’t want to work with [me] because of [my] politics.”
4. Kirk Cameron. The actor made the following comments about gay marriage to CNN’s Piers Morgan in 2012:
“Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the Garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either,” he said. “I think that it’s unnatural. I think that it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.”
“So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.”
The Hollywood Left then turned their fire on Cameron:
Craig Ferguson wrote, “Rush makes me ashamed to be a middle aged white man and Kirk Cameron makes me ashamed to be a failed actor. We don’t all think like that NoH8.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson wrote, “The only unnatural thing about me being gay is that I had a crush on Kirk Cameron until about 24 hours ago.”
Debra Messing wrote, “I want to thank Piers Morgan for his response to what he wud say to HIS child if (s)he came out: ‘Great, as long as you’re happy.'”
Roseanne wrote, “Kirk or kurt or whatever Cameron is an accomplice to murder with his hate speech. So is rick warren. Their peers r killing gays in Uganda.”
Dave Holmes wrote, “Remember yesterday afternoon, when Kirk Cameron’s views were none of our concern? Let’s restore America to that golden age.”
Michael Showalter wrote, “Idea for movie: Human Centipede 3 starring Kirk Cameron and Rush Limbaugh.”
Martha Plimpton of Meet the Fockers fame wrote, “The word ‘equality’ shows up too much in our founding documents for anyone to pretend it’s not the American way. #usethe19th #equalitynow.”
In a 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron said that while he has to “take it on the chin here and there,” overall “I enjoy my relationship with Hollywood.”
“Everybody has to deal with bias,” Cameron said. “If you draw a line and say, ‘Hey, I’m about truth,’ well, those who aren’t will have a bias against you. If you say you’re about faith in God, you’ll have people stand up and cheer, then you’ll have others who won’t. That’s the way the world works. You have to know what it is that you are willing to take it on the chin for.”
5. Angie Harmon. The actress told Fox News that when she criticized Barack Obama, she had to deal with numerous rejections for work due to her conservative beliefs. Many on the Left smeared Harmon as a racist.
6. Maria Conchita Alonso. The actress stepped down from her role in a play because the Left threatened to boycott the play. Why? She had appeared in a campaign video supporting Tea Party California gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly. Hollywood’s bias, argued Christian Toto at Newsbusters, was evident in their silence on that matter.
“Does anyone remember stars big or small rallying to her side?” Toto wrote.
7. Clint Eastwood. Radio host Larry Elder argued in a January 2015 column that Eastwood was snubbed from the Best Director Oscar that year because of his conservative beliefs even though his blockbuster film American Sniper “set box-office records for a film opening in January.” Elder wrote:
Hollywood is blatantly anti-Republican, contemptuous of George W. Bush and hostile toward the Iraq War. Of Hollywood’s political donations, 86 percent went to Democrats in 2008, and 79 percent in 2012. More than 90 percent of contributions by Hollywood celebrities to the 2012 presidential race went to Obama over Republican opponent Mitt Romney. DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg raised nearly $6.6 million for Obama’s two presidential elections.
Many players don’t even try to conceal their contempt.
Julia Roberts once said, “Republican comes in the dictionary just after ‘reptile’ and just above ‘repugnant.'” For his book, “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV,” conservative Ben Shapiro interviewed several Hollywood players. Many readily admitted conservatives are not welcome. They assumed, incorrectly, that Shapiro, a recent Harvard law grad, was one of them — a lefty who can barely conceal his contempt for the GOP. About television comedy shows, former ABC, CBS, and NBC top exec Fred Silverman said “there’s only one perspective, and it’s a very progressive perspective.”
Shapiro said: “Everyone knows that people in Hollywood despise traditional conservatives. They think we’re morons, bigots and Neanderthals. Over the course of doing research for this book, I spoke with hundreds of people in Hollywood. Few are conservative; even fewer are openly conservative. There’s a reason for that — Hollywood insiders discriminate on a regular basis against conservatives. Many of them celebrate such discrimination. The same people who talk about tolerance and diversity have no tolerance for ideological diversity.”
8. Michael Moriarty. According to Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro’s book Primetime Propaganda, Moriarty was once a Bill Clinton-supporting liberal Democrat who starred on Law & Order. That all changed when Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, criticized the television industry for its portrayal of violence. Moriarty met with Reno and other TV executives about it; in the meeting Reno reportedly suggested that TV broadcasts from 3 to 9 p.m. be under the purview of the federal government. Moriarity, infuriated by Reno’s “lavish display of contempt for the Bill of Rights,” tried to organize support to pressure Reno to resign. NBC and Law & Order creator Dick Wolf “abandoned” Moriarty, prompting him to resign. He later claimed he became “a blacklisted actor” as a result.
9. Dwight Schultz. Per Shapiro, producer Bruce Paltrow overheard actor Dwight Schultz voicing praise for Ronald Reagan, prompting Paltrow to call Schultz “a Reagan asshole.” Months later, Paltrow noticed Schultz auditioning for St. Elsewhere, a TV series that Paltrow was producing, and asked what he was doing at the audition. When Schultz told them he was auditioning for one of the roles, Paltrow declared, “There’s not going to be a Reagan asshole on this show!”
10. Evan Sayet. Sayet, who used to be a writer for Bill Maher’s talk show, once said that when he wrote for one particular talk show, he “was informed I could not write jokes about ebonics, global warming or any other cause coming from the left.”
11. Lionel Chetwynd. Chetwynd told Shapiro that he once pitched a movie idea about “the Allied assault on Dieppe in 1942,” where the soldiers “had to sacrifice themselves in a raid that would be mostly a learning experience for troops and commanders rather than a significant contribution to the victory of Europe.”
The producer and the executives loved it. All seemed to be going well until the producer exclaimed, “So you mean our bloodthirsty generals sent their own men to their death? What a story!”
When Chetwynd explained that the generals were actually heartbroken about it and the real enemy was the Nazis, the producer’s representative blithely asked him who “the real enemy was.” Chetwynd was infuriated to the point where he drove his cigarette “into the glass table and broke it.”
“I was so angry at someone who could only understand Nazism as a cipher for the evil within us,” Chetwynd told Shapiro. “I couldn’t posit it as a voracious —- animal that’s out there to destroy us.”
Chetwynd said that it was then when he realized “what I was up against.”