Actor Bryan Cranston has been receiving accolades for his role as blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. It may have been a coincidence the film’s release happened during the candidacy of Donald Trump, but Cranston has wasted no time drawing parallels between the GOP front runner and the McCarthy era.
Trumbo was jailed for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Committee about communist influences in the entertainment industry and blacklisted from working because he was a member of the Communist party. At a party honoring him Sunday, Cranston said that kind of fear-mongering is rearing its head again — this time in the form of Trump.
“You’d expect in a third-world dictatorship that civil liberties are taken away, but not in a civilized society,” Cranston told The Hollywood Reporter. “It happened then [during Trumbo’s career], and it’s happening again now with fear-mongering, which is an extremely effective wedge in a society.”
Cranston said nothing Trump says has been presented in a realistic way, but the real estate tycoon is preying on basic emotions.
“He’s a propagandist and a demagogue,” Cranston told the entertainment magazine. “He is actually presenting no approach about what we would do and how we would do it except to say these fantastical ideas that are contrary to our Constitution and who we are as a people.”
Cranston admitted that Trump’s lack of filter and refusal to be managed like other candidates is “refreshing.” But he also said Trump will say anything.
“For some reason at this moment in time, he is relevant in our political landscape,” he told Vulture. “We need to learn from what he’s doing. Meaning that it’s time for us to adapt. And I think the bigger thing that I keep thinking about is, why are so many Americans responding to him?”