Actor Denis O’Hare, star of ABC drama The Good Wife and FX horror anthology American Horror Story, told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Wednesday that publicly supporting Hillary Clinton is harder in Hollywood than it was when he came out as a gay man.
After O’Hare listed the reasons why he believes Clinton is qualified to be U.S. president, Matthews asked the two-time Emmy nominee what he thought of her Democrat rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, winning nearly two dozen state primaries.
“The thing is she won more votes,” O’Hare responded.
“Out here in Hollywood land, and you take the position of being pro-Hillary; is that okay professionally? Or are most people out here Bernie people?” Matthews pressed.
“You know I had to come out of the closet as a gay man,” O’Hare replied. “I had to come out of the closet as an atheist. But you know coming out of the closet as a Hillary supporter is harder.”
O’Hare gained prominence in 2008 for his performance in the film Milk, the story of gay rights activist and California’s first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk. O’Hare played John Briggs, a California lawmaker who proposed a bill that would ban any LGBT person from teaching in the state’s public schools.
“I love Bernie, I am not against Bernie. Seriously, I love some of the things he says,” O’Hare said, adding that “[Sanders supporters] are passionate to the point of…you have to be careful how you approach them.”
“Even with my friends, I kind of have to say, ‘I love Bernie,'” O’Hare continued, noting the potential professional backlash in Hollywood that many conservative artists face. “I’m not picking a fight with Bernie. But I voted for Hillary.”
Hollywood Democrats were split on Clinton and Sanders in the run-up to the June 7 California primary. A number of the entertainment industry’s more progressive celebrities, including Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo and Sarah Silverman, backed Sanders, while more established Democrats including Tom Hanks, Barbra Streisand, George Clooney and Morgan Freeman supported Clinton.
Clinton, however, dominated in fundraising among Hollywood campaign contributors.