Hollywood isn’t just for Dems, after all.
On Sunday, Donald Trump landed an unexpected endorsement from actor Scott Baio. The Happy Days actor explained his support for the candidate on Fox News, saying: “I want him, as any one person can do, to go into Washington and blow it up.” The long-ago sitcom star is the latest in a ragtag group of celebrities to come out in public support of the Republican front runner.
Hillary Clinton boasts A-list co-signs by the likes of George Clooney, Beyonce and Lena Dunham. And Bernie Sanders’ candidacy can count on such high-profile supporters as Spike Lee, Neil Young and Mark Ruffalo. But Trump’s groundswell of celebrity endorsers are all the more remarkable for standing up in opposition to what is perhaps America’s staunchest Democratic stronghold: Hollywood.
According to a recent article in The Hollywood Reporter, a growing number of conservative Republicans and independents in the entertainment industry are quietly lining up behind the real estate mogul. “We should thank God that Trump is in this race,” the tough-guy actor Robert Davi wrote in a column for Breitbart.com. “They paint Trump and his supporters as racist and uneducated. Well guess what — I am neither and I know quite a few people who are for Trump. Some will not openly come out and say they support him because they’re afraid of being falsely labeled by some here in Hollywood.”
Of course, the jury is still out on whether such endorsements carries weight or influencers voters. But herewith, Fortune.com has compiled a list of Trump’s most famous supporters:
Tila Tequila, the reality television personality and flat-earth conspiracy theorist, posted a YouTube video voicing her support for the candidate in October. “I don’t care about losing followers,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “I care about what my heart feels is the right thing to do, and I do not judge people from their past… I see them for who they are today and what positive changes they are trying to make..”
In September, pro wrestling hall-of-famer (and recent winner of a $115 million lawsuit against Gawker) Hulk Hogan not only endorsed Trump; he voiced the desire to become the Republican front runner’s veep. Asked by the gossip website TMZ which presidential candidate he most wanted to fight, Hogan replied, “I don’t want to be in the ring with any candidates. I want to be Trump’s running mate.”
(In a related development, Lou Ferrigno, the bodybuilder-turned-actor who portrayed the superhero the Hulk on the 1978 TV series The Incredible Hulk told TMZ of Trump’s candidacy: “I hope he goes all the way.”
Trump “fired” Stephen Baldwin twice as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice in 2008 and All-Star Celebrity Apprentice (2013). But the actor still told CNN, “I think he’d make a great president. He’s not a politician, and he doesn’t care what anybody thinks. And that’s why he’s surging in the polls.”
Rocker-turned-conservative lightning rod Ted Nugent called the candidate the “hell raiser America has needed for a very longtime” in a September Facebook post.
Kid Rock told Rolling Stone last month that he’s “digging Trump.” “My feeling: let the [expletive] business guy run it like a [expletive] business,” Rock said. “And his campaign has been entertaining as [expletive].”
In early March, the Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight issued a statement hailing Trump as “an answer to our problems.” Voight said: “There are many Republicans fighting to keep him from winning the Republican nomination. You know why? Because he has no bull to sell, and everyone will discover the bull most politicians spew out is for their own causes and benefits. They never dreamed they would lose control.”
At a Trump campaign rally in Oklahoma City in September, Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson pledged his support for the candidate by pointing out: “We’re both successful businessmen. We both have pretty big shows on television. We both have wives that are 1,000 times better looking than us. So I like Trump.”
Country singer Loretta Lynn told Reuters, “Trump has sold me — what more can I say?”
Gary Busey, who starred in two seasons of Trump’s reality show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” threw his support behind the Donald, noting, ““I know [Trump] personally. I know him professionally. He’s a great guy. He’s sharp. He’s fast.”
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson made his view of the candidate abundantly clear in October: “He should be president of the United States. He should be president of the United States. That’s what he should be. He should be president of the United States.”