James Woods Explains Why He’s Blacklisted in Hollywood

Oscar-nominated actor has been offered only sporadic work since 2013 — still think it's a coincidence?

by Zachary Leeman | Updated 23 Aug 2017 at 11:29 AM

James Woods is a two-time Academy Award-nominated actor who has led projects as varied as David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome” and John Carpenter’s “Vampires.” He should be in a lot more material today than he actually is — but he says his lack of work in film right now is because of something that is negatively affecting many others in Hollywood.

“The only reason I express my views is that I have accepted the fact that I’m blacklisted. Also, I bought Apple stock in the ’80s,” Woods tweeted this week to a fan who had asked if there were Republican actors who kept their politics silent for fear of professional backlash. Woods said there were “absolutely” many who didn’t want to speak up because the blacklist against conservatives in Hollywood is very real.

"While #Liberals scream about the '50s blacklist, my #Repub actor friends are terrified of losing their ability to provide for their families," he said in a separate tweet.

Wood's last major acting role was a run in Showtime's "Ray Donovan" series in 2013. Since that, he's done sporadic voice work and appeared in a small-budget film. It's quite a change from before he was on Twitter as a vocal critic of former President Barack Obama — and then a supporter of President Donald Trump.

Before becoming the popular culture warrior he is now, Woods starred in such summer blockbusters as "White House Down." He even led his own television program, called "Shark," for two years.

Woods actually predicted the decline of his career in 2013, when someone asked on Twitter if he was worried his conservative politics would lose him work.

Related: James Woods: 'Free Speech Is Dead in Liberal America'

"I don't expect to work again. I l think Barack Obama is a threat to the integrity and future of the Republic. My country first," he answered. Since then, he's earned 800,000 followers on Twitter and become a voice in the culture and politics — and he's taken very seriously by many. He's even been retweeted by the president.

His words about a blacklist don't come as a surprise as much as they confirm something too few people are willing to accept right now. There's a shocking amount of proof of the problem in Hollywood when it comes to political bias.

To wit:

Some films can't find distribution despite featuring established lead actors and massively successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Some casting directors check social media accounts for conservative politics before hiring actors.

And some directors drop artists for doing or saying things with which they disagree.

It's a dangerous time for creative conservatives right now, when it should not be. Political feelings or beliefs do not hinder anyone's creativity — and to hold back creative conservatives is to hold back what could be some very talented artists with a great deal to offer the world.

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