On Thursday, a some of the 200 members of Hollywood’s private group of Republicans, known as Friends of Abe, gathered to watch the GOP debate between Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich. The invite-only event featured a spread of industry lifers, from acclaimed actors to low-level studio workers.
These entertainment conservatives, mostly supporters of Trump’s tough talk on immigration, terror, and trade, yelled in delight when The Donald blasted stalwart Disney for abusing the guest-worker program in order to fire US citizens.
The Friends of Abe support him not only because he is saying what they think, but also because he is one of their own, said a former reality TV star and producer. "For every Cruz or Rubio supporter I talk to, there are 10 Trump supporters," said another attendee at the event.
Trump a determined show-business candidate takes his theatrical and relentlessly self-promotional antics to the debate stage. One day he is unforgettably branding Rubio as "Little Marco" and another day he is tangled in a flame war with the Pope.
America’s actor-in-chief had his signature performance Tuesday, hocking "Trump" brand steaks, water, and wine at an event after he all but sewed up the Republican nomination. Political strategist David Axelrod quipped, "the steaks are great in this election."
So they are, at least to Hollywood’s openly Republican actors like Jon Voight, Stephen Baldwin, Robert Davi or Willie Robertson. Davi, known for his tough guy roles in Die Hard and Expendables 3 said of the likely Republican standard-bearer, "We should thank God that Trump is in this race. The media and the establishment are terrified."
Davi opined, in a piece for a right-wing website, "They paint Trump and his supporters as racist and uneducated. Some will not only come out and say they support him because they’re afraid of being falsely labeled by some here in Hollywood."
Bret Easton Ellis, who penned the book and screenplay for movie classic American Psycho, suggests that we may be surprised at how many in Hollywood support Trump, whether or not they openly admit it. "I was shocked that almost everyone at a recent dinner I went to said they’d vote for Trump," exclaimed Ellis, "but they would never admit it publicly."