Actor Antonio Sabato Jr. revealed in an interview published Tuesday how his support for President Donald Trump forced him to leave Hollywood and become a construction worker in Florida.
Sabato, 48, told Variety that his political views led to him being blacklisted in the entertainment industry.
“I had to sell everything,” he said. “I had to pay all my debts. I was blacklisted. All my representatives left me, from agents to managers to commercial agents. I literally had to move, find a new job to survive and take care of my kids. It’s been terrible.”
He added: “It’s mind-blowing. It’s a disgrace. It’s tough, because if you’re in that environment in Hollywood and you have something to say that they don’t like, they’re going to let you know.”
Sabato, who is best known for roles on soap operas “General Hospital” and “Melrose Place,” spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention when Trump was nominated. After the election, he said, he could no longer line up roles, forcing him to retire after 30 years in the entertainment industry.
According to Sabato, he didn’t have to guess about a link between his support for Trump and his career nosedive because people Hollywood made it explicit.
“I was talking to a distribution company about producing a film that was set to go, and they told me to my face, ‘We will never distribute a movie with you in it because of your affiliation with the president,’” he said. “The reality is the power that makes movies happen in Hollywood – casting directors, producers, executive producers, directors – they’re all liberal. They hate anyone or anything who supports this president.”
Antonio Sabato Jr. isn’t the only Hollywood casualty of the Trump era
In 2018, Sabato, a native Italian who started his career as a Calvin Klein model, ran for U.S. Congress in California. But he lost to Democrat Julia Brownley.
Soon thereafter, he moved to Florida and began working in construction. He spoke to Variety from his new home in the state.
“I’m on the ground,” Sabato said. “I go on the job at 2 in the morning, and I’m making sure that the job is controlled and supervised by me. I’m in the car all day, driving, going through all the sites. Five days a week, nonstop.”
Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh noted that Sabato would not be the first Trump supporter to start getting fewer of his calls returned. The industry paper cited the examples of Roseanne Barr, Scott Baio, Dean Cain and Jon Voight, all of whom declined to comment for the article.
Actor James Woods, who has said he was fired by his liberal agent on the Fourth of July 2018, told Variety through a representative: “I restrict my public presence only to Twitter, thus avoiding potential editorial bias by mainstream media.”
Last August, “Will and Grace” stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing tried to organize a blacklist of Trump donors on Twitter. The actors later backpedaled amid widespread criticism.
In December, actress Jameela Jamil boasted on Twitter that her abortion had enabled her “thriving” career in Hollywood.
“Suck on that,” she told critics.
- Antonio Sabato Jr. before and after he became a Trump supporter.: Screen grabs