Kevin Sorbo opened up about being canceled in Hollywood for years because of his Christian beliefs and conservative views.
The 64-year-old actor skyrocketed to international fame when he starred as the Greek demigod Hercules in the hit show “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” for six seasons from 1995 to 1999.
However, he has previously said he became the “original cancel culture guy” after he began airing his political and religious views on social media.
Sorbo and his wife Sam Sorbo recently spoke to Fox News Digital about their upcoming movie, “Miracle in East Texas,” which was inspired by a true story and follows two con men who attempt to persuade a group of widows to invest in their worthless oil wells.
During the interview, the “Andromeda” alum recalled being dropped by his agent and manager after being “blacklisted” in the entertainment industry.
“It was sad to me, you know, my manager and agent for so many years said that we can’t get you jobs anymore, work with you because of you being a Christian, being a conservative,” Sorbo remembered.
“And I almost had to laugh at that because it’s an industry that screams for tolerance, and yet it’s a one-way street. It screams for freedom of speech. But Hollywood’s a one-way street as well. And that’s just too bad, you know. But I love the industry. I love the movies and TV.
“It was sad to me, you know, my manager and agent for so many years said that we can’t get you jobs anymore, work with you because of you being a Christian, being a conservative.”— Kevin Sorbo
“It was really weird,” he added. “I mean, here’s the thing. We have such a huge divide in our country right now, and it’s perpetuated by the mainstream media, perpetuated by movies, TV. I don’t harbor that kind of anger and hatred towards people. I have a different point of view.”
Sam noted that “Facebook also took Kevin down, and LinkedIn took Kevin down.”
“Even LinkedIn took me down,” Sorbo said with a laugh. “They don’t like the truth. I say on [X, formerly Twitter], I said, ‘I need more conspiracy theories because all of mine came true.’ But did Facebook apologize for taking me down even though I was right? No, because they don’t like the truth. The truth is too difficult for some people to take.”
As a result, Sorbo explained that he and Sam decided to form their own production company, Sorbo Studios, which produces family-friendly faith-based entertainment. Sorbo and the actress met on the set of “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” when she was cast in a recurring role. They married in 1998 and share sons Braeden, 21, and Shane, 19, and daughter Octavia, 17.
In 2011, Sorbo revealed the reason why he began to appear in episodes of “Hercules” less frequently toward the end of the show’s run. In 1997, the star had a near-death experience when he suffered three strokes caused by an aneurysm in his shoulder.
Sorbo detailed the health scare and his long recovery process in his 2012 memoir, “True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life.” In the interview with Fox News Digital, Sorbo reflected on the ordeal and explained how he managed to overcome it.
“It happened in season 5 on Hercules,” Sorbo recalled. “I had [an] aneurysm. That was way up here right next to the neck. And, unfortunately, when it opened up, it sent a few clots to the brain and I suffered a series of strokes. And it took me three years to fully recover from it.
“It took me longer than four months to really learn how to walk and balance again properly. I mean, it was a tough road. But, you know, I thank my faith in God, I thank this tough woman here [gesturing to Sam] that every time I got down on myself, she said, ‘Kevin, it happened, what are you going to do about it?’
“And I think, because of my parents, growing up as the fourth of five kids, there were four boys in that family,” he added. “We were always fighting over things. There was a strong will that was instilled in all of us, really. So I’m a very stubborn person, and I work. I’ll do ten times more than what anybody tells me to do, and especially with the doctors. Tell me that in terms of my recovery. So, you know, I’m still here.”
The “God’s Not Dead” star explained that writing about the health scare helped him process the experience, describing his memoir as a “great, fun semi-autobiographical story of my life and what happened pre-strokes and after strokes.”
“He says ‘semi-autobiographical’ because I wrote some chapters,” Sam added.
“Which are the best ones, of course,” Sorbo said with a laugh. “But, you know, it put me on a road that I never thought I’d be on, which is the talk circuit. And I do probably about 12 to 15 speaking events a year and covering everything from pro-life to Christian education to medical to whatever it may be. Even Hollywood, motivational … I mean, people want me to talk about the culture war between what Hollywood’s doing and the kind of movies I’m doing because, obviously, we’re doing quite different movies.
“I don’t think I’m doing something that different. I’m doing the movies Hollywood used to do.”
Kevin and Sam both star in “Miracle in East Texas,” which they co-produced through Sorbo Studios and Sorbo directed. The duo told Fox News Digital they immediately “fell in love” with the script, which was penned by screenwriter Dan Gordon, who co-wrote Denzel Washington’s 1999 film “The Hurricane” and earned the “Training Day” star an Oscar nomination.
“It’s a true story set in 1930,” Sorbo said. “It’s about the largest oil field in the history of the world.”
“He wrote it years ago, actually, for Paul Newman and Robert Redford,” Sam added of Gordon. “But they had already decided that they weren’t going to work together again. They didn’t want to be typecast as always working together. And so it sat on a shelf for quite a while.”
“He dusted it off,” Kevin said. “We did a movie with him earlier called ‘Let There Be Light’ that Sam wrote. He came to do the rewrite on it, and that’s how that relationship was formed.
“The character that I play actually is one of the two characters that were the main — really the main story’s written about them. John Ratzenberger plays the other guy with me. These two guys would go through Oklahoma and Texas wooing widows out of their money on fake oil wells. They would sell 500% of the shares in dry holes and move on. True story. And then when they got to Kilgore, Texas, they accidentally struck oil.
“They not only struck oil, they struck the biggest oil strike in the history of the United States,” Sam said. “And, at that point, in the history of the world. But we tell it as a comedy. So it’s a family-friendly comedy.”
“PG-rated, wonderful family movie,” Kevin added.
Tickets for the film can be purchased on the Sorbo Studios website, and Sam noted, “We want to get families back to the theaters again to start laughing again.”
“The opposite of what Hollywood does,” Kevin said. “We did a movie about love and hope and faith and laughter.”
Sam went on to say that they viewed the message of “Miracle in East Texas” as the “opposite” of cancel culture.
“We do live in this culture of canceling people. And that, of course, is the opposite of forgiving them,” she explained. “And the movie, one of the themes in this movie and part of the reason that we fell in love with it is it has a theme of redemption, has a theme of forgiveness. And, you know, every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
“And that’s the way that we see the world. We wish that more people saw it that way. And that’s why we make the films that we do, to breathe that sense of spirit back into the American culture, because that was the culture that started this great nation.”
During their interview with Fox News Digital, the pair also reflected on how the entertainment industry had changed over the years
“I think the ‘60s really changed things a lot,” Kevin said. “There was no rating system back in the ’60s. And I think, when you look at [it], we had the culture war.
“We took the Bible out of the schools. There was the Welfare Reform Act. There was the Vietnam War. There was the hippie movement, the rock ‘n’ roll movement. And movies became more celebrating the negative, the anti-hero than they did the hero. And that was something that really kind of changed the way movies were looked at.”
Sam pointed out that faith-based movies and the surrounding perception had also shifted.
“They used to be fringe because they were very church-lecturing. Right? Very, very sort of dictatorial, like Bible thumping on your head. But, let’s face it, every movie is a faith-based movie,” she said.
“It’s based on someone’s faith. And it used to be that the general faith of Hollywood was pro-God and pro-America. And that shifted. It shifted quite remarkably. And, so, now it’s somewhat less of that. Now, you still have the individual films that might be a little bit more one way or the other.
“But, in general, the whole of Hollywood has shifted. And that left an opening for the church people to come in and say, ‘Well, we need some entertainment. Let’s give this a shot.’ And as they progressed, they got better and better at it.”
“Miracle in East Texas” will open in select theaters Oct. 29-30.