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Trumpian Congressional Candidate Alleges Hollywood Blacklist

Model and soap star Antonio Sabato, Jr. says he’s been shunned

By Evan Gahr

The actor Antonio Sabato, Jr., has seen offers dry up after supporting Donald Trump and running for Congress as a Republican. (Jerry Avenaim)

The intolerant must be silenced!

Is that Hollywood’s attitude towards Trump supporters in their midst?

Antonio Sabato, Jr., the once soap opera star and now California Republican congressional candidate, says he has been run out of Hollywood for unabashedly supporting Donald Trump.  So he can sympathize with the abuse White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took last week when the owner of a Virginia restaurant kicked her out following complaints from hostile workers.

“She’s a lovely lady and it’s disgusting,” Sabato told the New York Post at the Virginia Women for Trump celebration in Washington this weekend.

Sabato revealed that after he spoke for Trump at the 2016 Republican convention he was blacklisted in much the same way that Hollywood types in the 1940s and 1950s were for allegedly being communists.

“When I went to Cleveland and spoke for our president, as I came back, my agent, my managers were all gone,” he contended. “I had jobs lined up, they were all gone.”

But one Hollywood scholar speculates that Sabato’s acting talents rather than his politics explain why his work dried up.

Steve Ross, author of Hollywood Left and Right, tells CaliforniaGlobe.com that Sabato’s problem is that his star was already fading in an industry that cares a lot more about making money and a lot less about liberal politics than people realize.

“I don’t know enough to make an absolute pronouncement, but if the past is any track record for the present, it is unlikely that Sabato would have been blacklisted simply because of his remarks,” the University of Southern California history professor emailed. “If he’s not getting work it’s more likely because of his acting not his politics.”

“People who make money for studios and networks almost always get work.  Remember, Hollywood is first and foremost in the money making business, not the consciousness raising business.”

Indeed, even before he took up the Trump banner, Sabato was not exactly a hot commodity in the entertainment world. His biggest gig in recent years was arguably being on Dancing with the Stars in 2014.

Sabato is seeking the 26th District Ventura County congressional seat held by Democrat Julia Brownley.  Having finished second to her in the June 5 primary, edging Republican Jeffrey Burum he assured his place on the November ballot.

Sabato, a former Calvin Klein underwear model, takes many predictable right-wing positions.  He has derided “Sacramento socialists” and also insisted that Barack Obama is a Muslim.

But he has also gone out a limb lately by taking stances that even the most hard core of Republicans won’t these days.  In a little-noticed interview earlier this month with the entertainment website meaww.com Sabato said that Roseanne Barr should not have been fired for her racist tweet about top Obama White House advisor Valerie Jarrett.

“Everybody has the right to say what they feel, and I am talking about living in a big country, but, every time you say something wrong, you are either fired or completely blacklisted,” he contended. “A comedian sure has a right to say certain things but to completely evict and fire someone based on one tweet, that’s a little bit too much.”

In the same interview, the congressional hopeful, an Italian immigrant whose maternal grandmother survived the Holocaust, declined to condemn the just-rescinded Trump policy of separating migrant parents from their children, which has drawn rebukes from even hard core conservatives.

Asked about whether he believes “the segregation of families at the US-Mexico border is justified,”  Sabato ignored the question entirely and stuck to a ritualist denunciation of illegal immigration.

“We want to close the borders and I think the best thing to do is to follow the law that we have. But people in Sacramento don’t want to follow federal laws, they think they have their own law. Our federal law says that if you cross the border illegally, you’ll be sent back to your country, no matter what. You come here illegally, you pay your dues.”

The campaign did not respond to a list of questions submitted at its request.

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