Hollywood Blacklist 2.0: Paying The Price For Speaking Your Mind

Joe Rogan: “There’s a certain ideology that’s attached to that city, and it’s not logical."

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: Actress Drea de Matteo attends the 25th Annual Dances With Films - U.S. premiere f "The Latin From Manhattan" at TCL Chinese Theatre on June 11, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images) DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: Grand Marshal Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson speaks to the media during a press conference after the NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 was postponed due to weather at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2024 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Actress Drea de Matteo: Photo by Paul Archuleta/Getty Images. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Actress Drea de Matteo knows how saying the wrong thing can get you whacked. In more ways than one.

The actress played Adriana on the mob TV classic “The Sopranos” and her iconic character was one of many who didn’t live to be featured in the final episodes. 

More importantly, she’s worked for two-plus decades in Hollywood. If you go against the Hollywood orthodoxy, however, you could lose work. 

Said orthodoxy is progressive to the core.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 28: Drea de Matteo is seen on July 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images)

Hollywood To You/Star Max/GC Images

The Hollywood Blacklist 2.0 is very real. Just ask stars like Kevin Sorbo, Antonio Sabato, Jr., and Tim Allen. They’ve all experienced various levels of cancellation for embracing a Right-leaning worldview.

Superstar podcaster Joe Rogan is one of the few industry types to acknowledge that truth. He shared some behind-the-scenes reflections on his signature podcast in February.

“There’s a certain ideology that’s attached to that city, and it’s not logical. It’s a kooky, wacky, completely insulated left-wing view of the world, and they enforce it with an iron fist.

“And if you’re not on that team you don’t get booked for things. You don’t get picked for things. If you’re someone who has conservative leanings there’s projects you’re never gonna get. You’re never gonna be involved … they’ll malign you without knowing you at all, [and are] openly prejudiced about you. So no one does it.”

De Matteo recently told Donald Trump Jr.’s “Triggered” podcast why few stars speak out against the Biden administration.

Some actively support the 81-year-old leader, like Stephen Colbert and Steven Spielberg. Colbert helped Biden raise money for Biden at a high-profile fundraiser last month. The Oscar-winning director is shaping this summer’s DNC Convention in Chicago.

Others who might bristle at Biden’s inflation spike, porous border, and inability to call out the anti-Semitism roiling the country bite their tongue.

They don’t wanna get professionally whacked, she says.

“This administration has just been hammering all of these things and people in Hollywood are petrified… What, are you going to speak out against race, and sex, and all of that stuff?

“People are afraid to have those conversations, because first of all, you never win with a liberal. You’re just never gonna win.”

De Matteo has essentially cut ties with Hollywood. She infamously created an OnlyFans account to help pay the bills, and she’s now willing to criticize both her former industry and Democrats now that she’s essentially retired as an actress.

They can’t whack her any more, but is she exaggerating?

We’ve seen two examples where a star dared to defy Hollywood groupthink and may have paid the price later.

Ellen DeGeneres stood atop the Hollywood world via her beloved chat show “Ellen.” And then she made the “mistake” of being friendly to former President George W. Bush. The two chatted at a Dallas Cowboys home game in late 2019, and the progressive blowback to the news stunned the lesbian activist and comic.

CAROL BURNETT: 90 YEARS OF LAUGHTER + LOVE -- Pictured: Ellen DeGeneres -- (Photo by: Casey Durkin/NBC via Getty Images)

Casey Durkin/NBC via Getty Images

She addressed the reaction on her show, and she didn’t back down.

“When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean be kind to the people who think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

That was the fall of 2019.

Less than a year later, DeGeneres’ career collapsed. Industry insiders began leaking to the press how the “Ellen” show created a toxic workplace environment. 

The murmurs caught fire and the star with the nicest on-screen persona lost her bulletproof brand. She eventually left the program in 2022 and only recently resurfaced.

Would former and current “Ellen” staffers have leaked damaging reports about the star had she not enraged some of her loyal supporters? Was this punishment for reaching across the aisle in a very public fashion?

Maybe. Possibly. It’s unclear.

More recently, superstar Dwayne Johnson made a shocking confession. He told Fox News – Faux Noise! – that he wouldn’t be endorsing President Joe Biden as he did in 2020. He didn’t want to divide the nation, and he preferred to let the American public have its say without his input.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Grand Marshal Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson walks the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2024 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Sean Gardner/Getty Images

He also indirectly threw Biden under the bus during a tight election cycle.

“Am I happy with the state of America right now? Well, that answer is no.”

That was in early April. A few weeks later, TheWrap.com published a blistering expose alleging Johnson repeatedly showed up to work late – very late – on the set of his upcoming film “Red One.” That tardiness was reportedly up to eight hours.

That was on days when he showed up at all.

The investigation featured other damning tidbits, like how fellow A-lister Ryan Reynolds argued with Johnson over his tardy ways and how the ex-WWE star would urinate in bottles on set and have his handlers dispose of them.

The studio behind the film has denied the allegations. Johnson hasn’t addressed them directly via his X social media feed. TMZ reports that Reynolds and Johnson did clash about the latter’s tardiness but eventually made amends.

The report’s timing sure is … interesting.

Johnson has enjoyed a sterling reputation in and outside of Hollywood up until now. Hard-working. Talented. Driven. Versatile.

This report is a direct attack on that brand. Is it a coincidence it went public weeks after the superstar refused to back Biden’s re-election campaign?

Maybe. Possibly. It’s unclear.

Breitbart News’ John Nolte noted that some of the material in TheWrap.com expose dates back to 2020 when Reynolds and Johnson teamed for “Red Notice.” So, Nolte asked, why is it resurfacing now?

Here’s betting de Matteo has a firm opinion on the matter.

* * *

Christian Toto is an award-winning journalist, movie critic and editor of HollywoodInToto.com. He previously served as associate editor with Breitbart News’ Big Hollywood. Follow him at @HollywoodInToto.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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