The actor who played the fictionalized version of catalog entrepreneur J. Peterman, Elaine’s quirky boss on the Seinfeld sitcom, weighed in today on President Donald Trump, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, and the NFL take-a-knee protests.
John O’Hurley, an actor and TV personality gifted with a mellifluous voice who is likely best known for his Seinfeld role, offered his insight on Fox & Friends this morning.
Among his many entertainment industry credits, O’Hurley, 63, hosted Family Feud from 2006 to 2010, anchors the National Dog Show each year on Thanksgiving, and won the dance-off in the first season of Dancing with the Stars with partner Charlotte Jorgensen. He is also starring in the upcoming film Swing Away opposite Shannon Elizabeth. Ironically perhaps for Seinfeld fans, he became a part-owner of the real-life, rebooted J. Peterman Company in 2001. He also does lots of voice-actor work.
Much has been written in the mainstream media about how being identified as politically right of center in liberal Hollywood can have career implications. In the interview, O’Hurley noted that he was an avowed Trump supporter, having previously expressed the view that a businessman could rein in big government.
“Every time I have mentioned that I supported Trump in this election, people get vicariously angry at me, and they don’t believe that it’s possible that someone might think differently than they do…There is a band of ‘conservatism’ in Hollywood but it leans so much to one side that it doesn’t allow for free discussion.”
O’Hurley also implied that performers should keep their political or social views to themselves, especially given the sexual harassment/sexual assault scandal that has engulfed producer Harvey Weinstein.
“Never in the history of entertainment were actors considered moral barometers. Now all of a sudden we feel as though we have the mantle of moral behavior from Hollywood?…And as we’ve seen over the last couple of weeks, I think it might be time for us to weed our own garden.”
Earlier this week, actress Jessica Chastain declared that Hollywood should start practicing what it preaches and stop finger-pointing at those outside the entertainment community for their failings. The feminist recalled how celebrities condemned Donald Trump after the leak of the Access Hollywood tape during the campaign, “but at the same time we ignore the stories and warnings of sexual predators in our offices.”
During his long career in the pre-politics media spotlight as a real estate developer and host of the Apprentice franchise on NBC, Donald Trump — a former Democrat and independent who ran for president on the Republican ticket — regularly mingled with celebrities and they with him. It was only after he became a candidate that he fell out of favor for various reasons with the show business cohort.
John O’Hurley, who has also performed in Broadway plays, similarly took a dim view of the Hamilton cast calling out VP Mike Pence when he was in the audience at a performance last year. “I was embarrassed for my profession because I don’t think we should be pontificating from the stage,” he asserted.
The J. Peterman actor similarly chided National Football League players for their national anthem protests while on the job.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I go to the NFL for escapism. I don’t want to be slapped in the face with somebody’s political views.”
Video of the full John O’Hurley interview on the Fox News Channel will be added below once it becomes available. Check back for updates.
[Featured Image by Matt Sayles/AP Images]