Former “Brady Bunch” star Susan Olsen, who portrayed Cindy, says she knows first-hand what can happen to supporters of Donald Trump in the entertainment world.
Olsen, who became a radio personality in the mid-90s, told Fox News that she had “been the subject of fake news” following Trump’s victory. In December 2016, the entertainment site The Wrap reported she had lost her radio job for a private message she sent to a liberal guest who had appeared on her show.
The story was picked up by national news outlets — and the coverage wasn’t friendly to Olsen.
“And it was shocking to me,” she said. “The story was that I had been fired for a homophobic rant on the air. Yeah, I did rant at a guy, but it was not on the air. And I never got fired. But it was all part of my punishment for admitting that I voted for Trump.”
She acknowledged pro-Trump feelings aren’t common in Hollywood.
“Things being not fair, things being untrue — I can’t put up with it. I’m constantly being told by family members, ‘Susan, shut up. Don’t speak your opinion.’ Because my opinion is not very popular in Hollywood,” Olsen said.
“And I know people who have been completely blacklisted because they’re not on the left… I’m not even a Republican. It’s not that I’m all that conservative,” she added.
The childhood star, from a show in which everything seemed to get worked out in the end, wishes people could be more accepting of differing views.
“(W)e used to be able to have differences,” Olsen said. “And if you talked about them, you’d usually find there really isn’t that much difference between the right and the left.”
“Now, people are being called hateful. Betsy Ross is now hateful and she was an abolitionist,” she added, citing the July controversy over the Betsy Ross flag. “The world’s gone nuts!… It’s misinformation. And these people are hypocrites.”
Olsen recounted that she left social media for a few years, out of concern she would go too far in speaking her mind.
“And it’s funny because I often had people on the other side say things that make me pause and reconsider what my position is,” she said. “I try not to be controversial on social media but it’s hard to back away when someone knocks on American values. I really just want to protect them.”
“Seinfeld” actor John O’Hurley expressed similar sentiments to Olsen after “Will & Grace” stars Debra Messing and Eric McCormack called for Hollywood supporters of Trump to be outed.
“Well, let me just say that I’m embarrassed for both of them,” O’Hurley said, who portrayed Elaine’s boss J. Peterman on the iconic show.
“It underscores the fact that we aren’t receptive to diversity of thought, which is the exact opposite of what you feel the liberal way would be. And I find that obscene,” he added.
O’Hurley contended that artists in particular should value a wide range of beliefs and opinions.
“It is very difficult to be a conservative in Hollywood,” O’Hurley said. “Even though there are many of us, you do feel like you are an island fighting the storm.”
Olsen is joining fellow “Brady Bunch” cast members Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, and Michael Lookinland in “A Very Brady Renovation,” which premiered Monday on HGTV.
— HGTV (@hgtv) September 4, 2019
“Good Morning America” reported the program will air during the 50th anniversary season of the original “Brady Bunch” and will feature a renovation of the Brady home, located in Studio City, California, just north of Los Angeles.
The home, which was used only for external shots in the original show, was purchased by HGTV for $3.5 million in 2018.
Episode 2, “Here’s the Second Story,” is scheduled to show on HGTV on Monday at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
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