- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Television actor Antonio Sabato Jr. said he’s been “attacked viciously” in Hollywood and even blacklisted from landing new roles following his appearance last month at the Republican National Convention.

The 44-year-old actor and model, who was born in Rome and immigrated to the U.S. when he was 13, opened the convention in Cleveland with a speech saying Donald Trump is the answer to U.S. immigration reform. After his speech, however, Mr. Sabato reported receiving endless harassment for his conservative beliefs.

“I think this country allows you freedom of speech,” Mr. Sabato, who became a U.S. citizen in 1996, told Variety. “Anybody should be allowed to say whatever they want. When you’re in my business, you can’t talk about [conservative] politics. You just can’t. You’re attacked viciously in a way that I’ve never been attacked before.

“I’ve had fantastic directors who have said officially to my agents and managers they will never hire me again. They will never even see me for projects. That’s unfair. It’s just like Communism,” he continued. “You’re supposed to be hired based on your talent and abilities, not because of how you feel about politics or religion. But that’s how they do things. It’s not just me. I know a lot of people in the industry who are in the same boat. The reality is if you’re associated with the Republican Party, the casting directors and producers already blacklist you based on that. I know people that just showed up, they didn’t speak – and they are not getting work because of it.”

Mr. Sabato said a lot of Hollywood bosses “own the media,” while donating millions to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and President Obama. He said he’s going to continue looking for work in Hollywood, but nothing will stop him from speaking about his beliefs.

“I have my hands in all kinds of businesses,” he said. “I’m never going to leave Hollywood. I’m going to go after it one way or another. I’m just speaking the truth — people don’t know how this business works. I feel strongly about the fact that Donald Trump is going to win. I think he’ll be elected in November.”

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