Antonio Sabato Jr. Talks About Being Blacklisted in Hollywood for Being Conservative

After publicly supporting President Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign, actor Antonio Sabáto Jr. said he'd been blacklisted in Hollywood. In response to his loss of work, Sabáto announced yesterday that he was starting a conservative movie studio for projects that "Hollywood would never do."

An outspoken Trump supporter, Sabáto told Variety in March that he'd lost representation and work on various projects and had effectively been blacklisted in Hollywood.

The actor, who's best known for his work on the soap opera General Hospital, says that conservatives face scrutiny in show business. "Now, if you go on movie sets and you wear your Christian cross or you're a believer or you talk about going to church on Sunday—even though churches are closed right now, which is sad to see—you might be fired. Or, if you wear a MAGA hat, you may be fired, or if you say, 'I like what President Trump did the other day,' you might be fired, completely removed from the set, and that's wrong. It shouldn't be that way, everybody should have their right to speak and to have conversations about who they like, who they don't like whatever, but it's just gotten to a place of so much pain and negativity and control over the future of people's lives," Sabáto told Newsweek in a phone interview.

Sabáto said that going against the grain in Hollywood can be a dangerous career move. "They only talk about certain things, and they fight for certain things, but there's not really an equality in Hollywood anymore. You can't really be yourself. You can't really speak yourself," he said. "You gotta watch your back about everything. You can't stand up for something, unless everybody's going for the same direction. Everybody's sheep. Everybody's following each other."

Disagreements over politics allegedly barring him from opportunities was a large part of Sabáto's decision to begin his own studio. "Now more than ever, studios and networks and people with a lot of power have so much control over the future of everybody, including performers and artists and actors in general, and if they find out, maybe their political views are different or their beliefs in God have any sort of conservative attachment to it, they have too much power to decide your future," he said. "There's a lot of personal feelings in studios. There's a lot of political correctness from left and right. It's not about the product anymore; it's about what kind of political resolution you can have or what the message [is], instead of entertainment."

Sabáto detailed some of the types of films that he hopes to make with the studio. "I think we need more base films that go to the roots of [where] we stand as a country: movies about patriotism, movies about the Lord, movies about God," he said, explaining that he doesn't necessarily mean preachy religious movies. "Why can't we do a movie where God or something really extremely good is the protagonist of the story? And not throw it in people's faces and make it a religious film but rather about goodness versus Satan or versus Hell as a whole."

The first film on the docket is a spiritual western called Trail Blazers, the first in a planned trilogy that Sabáto co-wrote with Deborah Twiss and will direct. "I just wanted to make an action-adventure story set in a western town, where you have the protagonist-the family of ten people: seven brothers, one sister, and two amazing parents, who are very gifted in their martial arts and gunsmith and using weapons and whatnot and fighting against Hell, fighting against Satan in a western setting," Sabáto explained as the premise. The film's cast has the likes of Towering Inferno actor Robert Wagner, child star Scott Baio singer Deanna Martin, God's Not Dead actor Dean Cain, and more. Sabáto explained that the performers involved have also been given the cold shoulder from major productions.

"I have an amazing cast of people that want to be in it from Robert Wagner to Deana Martin-she's Dean Martin's daughter-from Lorenzo Lamas to Dean Cain to all the people that are very much conservative or just different beliefs who have been very spoken about maybe their political stuff," he said. "They've been tossed on the sidelines. They've been treated extremely bad. They've been put down on a daily basis, because their beliefs are different. They've been completely blacklisted from Hollywood, and these are people that have been in show business for many, many years. I felt that it's really unfair that we cannot get along that we cannot do things like we used to in the past, and the only way to do that is to get together with amazing people who I have so much in common with and start a studio in Arizona."

Besides the Trail Blazers trilogy, Sabáto also expressed interest in acquiring the rights to make remakes and sequels to films like westerns, detective stories, and action comedies from his youth.

The actor shared his hopes for Trail Blazers success. "Ultimately, we're trying to make pictures and stories and entertainment that's something we want to make. The story Trail Blazers is something I wanted to make. I think it's interesting to see God fighting Satan in a Western setting," he said. "It's something I've always been passionate about. I can't wait to direct it. We'll see what happens. If it's successful and turns out to be a blessing, then hopefully we'll just keep making more."

Antonio Sabato Jr.
Antonio Sabato Jr. delivers a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Sabato said he'd been blacklisted since supporting Donald Trump. He has started a conservative movie studio in response to losing opportunities in Hollywood. Getty/Alex Wong
Antonio Sabato Jr. Talks About Being Blacklisted in Hollywood for Being Conservative | Culture