The industry discriminates against conservatives. We learned that lesson anew thanks to Isaiah Washington.
The former “Grey’s Anatomy” star alienated some peers 13 years ago when he used the “F” word twice in public, once allegedly in reference to a gay co-star who wasn’t present at the time. Washington denied that charge and repeatedly apologized for uttering the word, but his contract wasn’t renewed.
Now, Washington has got a bigger “blemish” on his resume. He’s visited the Trump White House and praised the leader’s efforts on criminal justice reform.
Washington recently told his story on “Red Pilled America,” a right-leaning podcast. He explained how he left traditional Hollywood behind when he realized the industry wouldn’t treat him fairly. He’s soured on Democrats, too, and feels a kinship with mistreated Trump fans even if he eschews the Republican label.
That convinced some of his fellow actors, who also don’t reflexively hate the president, to reach out to him on social media. Only Washington isn’t ready to make nice with those lacking the courage of their convictions.
I have a message for the Hollywood Actors DM’ing me and revealing that you’re Conservatives. Don’t DM me again, because you all are lame and I don’t respond well to hypocrites or cowards. You’re no different than the bystander that is waiting on the blood to spill from a martyr.
Actor/director Nick Searcy, unafraid of sharing his conservative viewers, offered his response to Washington’s Tweet:
They wouldn’t be martyring themselves. It’s time to stop letting the leftist Hollywood bullies make the rules.
Searcy is right … to a point.
Some overtly right-of-center stars do work regularly. Think Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammer, and Tim Allen, who temporarily lost his highly-rated “Last Man Standing” in a move many considered tied to his politics. Searcy keeps very busy, too.
They’re all recognizable stars with talent and successful track records. It’s not as easy for young actors attempting to follow in their footsteps.
Conservative actors rightly fear losing some gigs for their political views.
Bernard Goldberg, who blew the whistle on liberal media bias before many of his peers, toured Hollywood last year and spoke to actors on the right to find the truth. His takeaway?
“If you’re a conservative in Tinsel Town, it’s best to fly under the radar,” he wrote at the time, going so far as the protect the privacy of actors he spoke to for the report.
The Hollywood Reporter found similar results three years ago tied to a story about the Trump effect on Hollywood.
While THR spoke to dozens of Trump voters, few wished to announce their support, citing their desire to avoid backlash from co-workers. One makeup artist, for example, says longtime clients stopped hiring her after learning she was a Republican.
That outlet reported on another instance of anti-conservative bias last year regarding the production of “Roe v. Wade,” a film critical of the abortion decision.
Michael Lindell, worth an estimated $300 million, tells The Hollywood Reporter he has plowed $1 million into Unplanned, an upcoming feature that was shot in secret due to its critical take on Planned Parenthood.
The director of “2016: Obama’s America” told this reporter some of his crew worked under pseudonyms. They feared being linked to the conservative movie could cost them future assignments.
Need more examples?
Conservative comic Michael Loftus says he tried to pitch a more ideologically balanced late-night show around Hollywood but was told by network executives they didn’t want to appear “friendly to the right.”
Comedienne Heather McDonald told me shortly before Trump’s election how her industry peers look down on Republicans.
“If you’re for Trump, you better keep your mouth shut if you want to work in this town. It’s the truth,” she said.
Washington and Searcy are striking a blow for their fellow independent thinkers by not hiding their views. Washington began producing his own projects in recent years to feed his craft, while Searcy directed and starred in the 2018 film “Gosnell” outside Hollywood channels.
They’ll need plenty of right-leaning peers, though, to keep fighting Hollywood’s ideological bigotry. That doesn’t mean it won’t come at a price, but Washington and Searcy prove it can be done.
Christian Toto is the editor of HollywoodInToto.com