THE Austrian-American actor, producer, businessman, retired bodybuilder, and former politician is under fire following comments about the Coronavirus.
Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California, has made some comments that landed him in hot water.
In August 2021, Schwarzenegger, 74, spoke with CNN’s Bianna Golodryga, regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
While talking to CNN, Schwarzenegger said:
“There is a virus…it kills people. The only way we can prevent it is to get vaccinated, to wear masks, to do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘oh well, my freedom is kind of being disturbed here.’ No. Screw your freedom because with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities. We cannot just say; I have the right to do X, Y, and Z when you affect other people. That is when you get serious.”
Schwarzenegger then went on to call anti-mask Americans “schmucks.”
He continued: “You have the freedom to wear no mask – but you know something? You’re a schmuck for not wearing a mask. Because you are supposed to protect your fellow Americans around you.”
What was the reaction to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comments?
Following his comments, Schwarzenegger lost one of his biggest sponsors for the Arnold Classic bodybuilding show.
On August 20, 2021, REDCON1, a sports nutrition brand, confirmed their decision to Fox News.
“To be clear we did not pull out of the event because of a mask issue. We understand the importance of public safety as well as the responsibilities all event organizers. These are unprecedented times and we’re aligned with public safety for all. We elected to discontinue support due to Arnold’s comment, ‘Screw Your Freedoms,’” a spokesperson for the company told Fox.
“With the global influence Arnold personally possesses we find that ideology dangerous and anti-American.”
“REDCON1 is a patriotic pro-freedom brand rooted in the uncompromising unapologetic belief that you, as an American, are entitled to your freedoms and opinion and should not be insulted or persecuted for having a varying view. We support everyone’s individual freedoms,” the statement continued.
Along with Schwarzenegger losing the sponsorship, Brian Shaw, a four-time World’s Strongest Man champion, was seen removing a poster of Schwarzenegger from the wall of his home gym.
Did Arnold Schwarzenegger apologize?
Following his controversial conversation with CNN, Schwarzenegger wrote and article for The Atlantic, where he responded to the backlash.
Schwarzenegger admitted that calling people who refuse to wear masks “schmucks” and saying “screw your freedom” was “a little much.”
“Our country began with a willingness to make personal sacrifices for the collective good,” Schwarzenegger wrote.
“It’s right there in the closing line of the Declaration of Independence: ‘We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’ Almost two centuries later, John F. Kennedy posed his famous challenge: ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
“Our country became great because every generation before us knew that liberty and duty go hand in hand. I am worried that many of my fellow Americans have now lost sight of that,” he added.
Despite the backlash, Schwarzenegger admits that he still stands by his sentiment.