Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie star and former California governor, is addressing comments that garnered backlash and controversy. Although some of his comments lost him a sponsorship, Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t backing down.
Schwarzenegger discussed the COVID-19 pandemic and getting vaccinated. But his comments about freedom rubbed some people the wrong way.
“People should know there is a virus here,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said. “It kills people, and the only way we prevent it is to get vaccinated, wear masks, do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not just to think about, ‘Well, my freedom is being kind of 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 infect other people, that is when it gets serious.”
Specifically, Schwarzenegger said his comments were twisted by social media and online media into a “screw your freedom” narrative. The actor believes that his stance has more nuance than that.
Arnold Schwarzenegger Replaced Lost Sponsor with New One
Schwarzenegger wrote in his newsletter that he was cool with folks twisting his words. “That’s fine!” he wrote. “They have the right to choose clickbait instead of informing their audience.”
But Schwarzeneggar also lost a sponsor in the process. A business that was sponsoring one of his body-building competitions, pulled their money. REDCON1 is a sports supplement company. The business announced earlier in August they no longer were part of next month’s Arnold Classic because the former governor’s comments were “dangerous and anti-American.”
“It’s with a heavy heart and some genuine sadness, that REDCON1 has decided to discontinue any and all support for the Arnold Classic and the other Arnold related events around the world,” REDCON1 founder Aaron Singerman wrote on Instagram. After Singerman posted those comments, a company spokesman said REDCON1 wasn’t anti-mask. Rather, the business canceled its endorsement because the former governor said “screw your freedoms.”
The Arnold Classic quickly found a new sponsor. When they announced Mutant Nutrition, event officials issued a statement, saying:
“No matter your creed, color, religion, or political beliefs, the Arnold Sports Festival welcomes you with open arms. Recently, however, one of our sponsors decided that they could no longer support the Arnold Classic after Arnold Schwarzenegger said that freedom comes with responsibility.”
Meanwhile, Arnold Schwarzenegger said his target audience the whole time were the “whiney babies.”
“These are people who yell ‘FREEDOM’ in their American flag hats,” Arnold Schwarenegger wrote. “While not taking any time to study the history of our nation and how freedom and duty have ALWAYS gone hand in hand. They think being an American means not caring about their fellow Americans, and I’m sorry, I can’t accept that.”