The mere idea of the attendance by President Donald Trump at the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors — where artists are recognized for a lifetime of work — was met with the expected outrage from the Hollywood community.
Three of the five people being honored — television producer Norman Lear, musician Lionel Richie, and dancer Carmen de Lavalle — threatened to boycott the event should the president show up, although it’s something American presidents have done regularly for decades.
“Hollywood has turned so against this president. It’s so en vogue to be against him, I’m not surprised it happened. Kudos to President Trump and the Trump family for just stepping out,” actor Dean Cain said on the Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” about the president’s decision to skip the December event.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a Saturday statement that Trump and his family did not want to take away from the event and wanted “to allow the honorees to celebrate without any political distraction.”
Cain said the urge to simply boycott the president is representative of the level of critical thinking in Hollywood right now when it comes to politics. “Hollywood is locked into a really strong groupthink right now,” the “Supergirl” star said. He added that whenever he manages to get into a discussion with others about policies or the president, his opinion is met with “vitriol.”
“They look at me as if I’m an alien,” he said. The former Superman said what many are likely thinking of Hollywood: that the Trump hysteria is out of control and that these people do not allow room for rational conversation. Everyone remotely supportive of the president is seen as an immediate enemy and labeled an extremist.
“I don’t support every policy of the president’s … but it’s crazy. If you like one thing or you come out and you’re supporting him, you’re certainly aligned with that,” said Cain.
The actor addressed the political bias in Hollywood and the growing amount of proof that it is holding people back from getting work. Cain said he’s doing fine getting jobs — but that’s likely because he was already “established” before he began speaking about politics.
“I’m sure there are some forces at work that aren’t real happy that I would say these things,” he said. “Now your true rebels are those who support the president.”
Asked what exactly it is many in Hollywood hate so much about the president, Cain theorized it came down to simple presentation. He said the president is a very “inartful speaker” who can often “offend a lot of people’s sensibilities” because he speaks off the cuff and is not trained to communicate smoothly like so many actors and entertainers in Hollywood.
However, Cain added, it also means he gives people the “truth they don’t want to hear sometimes.”