Earlier this month, actor Kevin Sorbo spoke with TheBlaze about his career, the politics of Hollywood and his views about President Barack Obama and the current political schema.
The “Hercules” actor’s statements spawned a plethora of reaction, as critics and fans, alike, were surprised by his moderate — and some might argue right-of-center — perspective. We decided to speak with Sorbo, again, this week to see what he thinks about the monumental response and to chat further about his life and career.
While he hasn’t heard much from his Hollywood compatriots regarding the negative comments he uttered about Obama during his Blaze interview, Sorbo said that some of his close friends reacted favorably, commending him for his honesty.
As for Tinseltown, he doesn’t expect a favorable reaction from the elite. But he noted that they likely won’t be surprised, as many already know where he stands on the theological and political fronts. Sorbo noted that his outspoken views and general failure to align with the industry’s left-of-center political outlook is “enough to piss them off” regardless of whether they saw the interview.
The actor also reaffirmed what he said earlier this month — that Hollywood is prone to blackballing those who don’t align ideologically and that the industry includes “the least tolerant people you’ll meet.”
But in his follow-up interview with TheBlaze, Sorbo expressed surprise that some people were so taken aback by his words. In his view, his beliefs aren’t rooted in partisan politics, but, instead, they’re predicated upon the nation’s current standing — one that has been colored by economic hardship and divisiveness.
“If most people look at [the country] regardless of where they stand, they can’t say that everything is great right now,” Sorbo said.
Aside from the economic factors, the actor also took aim at the media for a failure, in his view, to properly explore important events — including the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead. Sorbo accused the media of covering up the incident by not seeking answers surrounding what actually unfolded.
As we stated earlier this month, it’s rare for an actor to share his or her views about politics, especially when those views contradict the very ideological framework of the institution that he or she is working in. But Sorbo clearly isn’t afraid to speak out. While he’s not campaigning for candidates or making it a point to be political for the sake of show, he’s open and candid when asked about his beliefs.
Considering how willing he is to speak up, TheBlaze asked the actor what led to his candid nature.
“It’s just sort of been gradual over the last six or seven years — I’m just fed up with a one-sided industry,” he said. “Why can’t people have a point of view? What’s the big deal? Why cant we look at both sides?”
Sorbo also spoke openly about how his health woes motivated him to be more open. After suffering a aneurysm in his shoulder in 1997, he subsequently had three strokes. The experience, naturally, was challenging, profoundly changing his outlook on life.
“I didn’t know what my recovery was going to be. Three blood clots,” the actor explained. “My priorities became different. I was tired of being some guy in the closet, so I speak my mind a lot more. Life’s too short.”
Recovery was inevitably difficult, as Sorbo suffered panic and anxiety attacks and experienced anger, shame and frustration. While he was in pain, both emotionally and physically, the actor said that he came to a point of acceptance and realized that he had to power through his struggles. Sorbo, a Christian, also relied upon God for guidance.
“I’ve always been a religious guy and I probably blamed God for a while — and bad things happen and it’s life,” he said. “I just asked him to give me the strength to keep fighting. The first year and a half was hell– it was brutal.”
He has since written a book about the near-death experience entitled, “True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal–and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life.”
It was this experience that gave him the courage to be more blunt about his political disagreements with Hollywood. As for those who criticize actors who speak out about politics, arguing that they should simply do their jobs instead of campaigning endlessly for the candidate of their choice, Sorbo, ironically, agrees.
“Normally, I don’t go on talk shows to talk about who I’m voting for,” he said, noting that giving an opinion when asked and going out to overtly campaign are two very different animals.
As for the current state of inclusiveness in Hollywood, Sorbo said that there does seem to be a stream of individuals, including A-listers, who are willing to stand up and speak out about how their views and practices differ from Tinseltown’s mainstream culture.
“The younger ones are afraid to speak up. The older ones are just tired of it,” Sorbo noted. “From Tom Selleck to Jon Voight to Bruce Willis. Kelsey Grammar — all these guys who have a lot of power are saying, ‘Come on.’”
He told TheBlaze that, despite once being more conservative in nature, Hollywood became left-leaning in the 1960s and has remained that way. Many producers and staffers working on television shows today even work fervently to insert their liberal views in story lines — a phenomenon that conservatives regularly criticize.
Sorbo acknowledged that many are still afraid of being blacklisted and that this possibility is both real and unfortunate. He reiterated, though, that, despite the challenges, he loves his job. The creative process of being on set and having the ability to create something out of nothing is what sustains him.
As for the country, the actor has his fears. In addition to lamenting the fact that Americans are still starkly divided, he highlighted a moral crisis that he believes is impeding the nation’s progression.
“We’ve reached a very low depth of morality in this country and in giving a crap about what happens to people,” Sorbo said. “We’re destroying this country very slowly — we’re slowly becoming a third-world country.”
From increased taxation to government dependency, Sorbo believes that the current pattern is unsustainable. He finds it “weird” that so many Americans believe that the government can solve society’s many problems, especially considering that the nation was built upon the individual.
To read TheBlaze’s original interview with Sorbo click here.