- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Actor James Cromwell is calling on Hollywood to become “more political” and do a better job at educating conservatives as to why President Trump is a bad leader for the U.S., instead of launching shallow, ad hominem attacks against the president.

“It’s very easy to vilify an idiot who happens to be the president of the United States, but it doesn’t solve the problem,” Mr. Cromwell told The Daily Mail in an interview published Sunday. “We have to educate people. We have to educate people on the right.

“We can’t demonize people because of their political stance,” he said. “We have to say: ‘Look, it won’t matter ultimately whether you’re Republican, radical right, or progressive.’ All that will matter is that we’re able to drink the water, breathe the air, live on the land. That’s what’s threatened.”

Mr. Cromwell, who has been arrested multiple times for protesting environmental issues, said Hollywood needs to get more engaged.

“Martin Sheen would do it, Ed Asner would do it. There are a lot of people if push came to shove,” the 77-year-old said. “This community has got to get more engaged. This community has got to get more political. More than our survival as an industry, our appropriateness is at stake. What’s really at stake is our humanity and all sentient life.”

Sunday’s interview was Mr. Cromwell’s first time speaking out since serving a three-day jail sentence last month for disorderly conduct after blocking traffic at a power-plant construction site in Wawayanda, New York, on Dec. 18, 2015.

The actor, best known for his roles in “Babe,” “The Green Mile” and “American Horror Story: Asylum,” suggested his brief jail stint was unpleasant, telling The Daily Mail that Orange County jail staff suffer from a “lack of humanity.”

“I was shocked that both the prisoners and the guards suffer from the lack of humanity and care that we assume that anyone who goes to prison deserves — even though we have over two million people in prison,” he said.

“I had a little bit of privilege, because I’m a celebrity, so they can’t dehumanize me,” he added. “They have to acknowledge my celebrity, because if I get screwed over, if I get beaten, in the general population it looks really bad in the press.”

Mr. Cromwell was arrested again late last month during a PETA protest at SeaWorld in San Diego.

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