Vietnam Marine vet and character actor R. Lee Ermey, the tough-as-nails drill sergeant from Stanley Kubrick’s classic film FullMetal Jacket, maintains that the GEICO Insurance Company fired him because he criticized the policies of President Barack Obama.
“If you’re a conservative in [Hollywood], you better watch out,” Ermey told the TMZ cameras (see video below).
On the satirical GEICO television commercial (see clip below), Ermey departs only briefly from his usual tough-guy persona and plays a psychiatrist.
Ermey, who has appeared in about 60 movies and hosts two programs on the History Channel about the U.S. military, publicly criticized the Obama administration during a USO fundraiser (see clip below) in December 2010 for “destroying the country” and trying to “impose socialism on us.”
He later apologized for these remarks, but it apparently took GEICO more than 15 minutes to decide to fire the actor.
R. Lee Ermey retired from the Marines as a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in 1972 and received an honorary post-service promotion to Gunnery Sergeant (E-7) in 2002 from the Marine Corps commandant for his continuing support of the U.S. military.
In a related story, Kelsey Grammer recently told Jay Leno on the Tonight Show that liberal bias against Republicans prevented him from being nominated for an Emmy for his starring role on the Starz original series The Boss.
Here is R. Lee Ermey talking to TMZ about being fired by GEICO for political reasons:
This is the R. Lee Ermey GEICO commercial that apparently is no longer airing after he was fired by the company:
Watch R. Lee Ermey at the USO Fundraiser where he criticized Obama:
[Image credit: Zachary B]