A couple of weeks ago, Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger made headlines for his rather controversial comments about COVID-19 mask mandates, wherein he stated that people who don’t wear masks were “schmucks.”
The former Governor of California (R) went on a rant about mask mandates in an interview with retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman and CNN’s Brianna Golodryga, in which Schwarzenegger said “screw your freedom” when alluding to those individuals who refuse to wear face masks.
When asked about his opinion on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the actor stated, “It kills people. And the only way we prevent this is to get vaccinated, to wear masks, to do social distancing, washing your hands all the time, and not think about ‘well, my freedom is being disturbed here.’”
He then added, “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.”
Schwarzenegger’s comments and his apparent disregard for the freedoms of the American people were not positively met by his fans, particularly on social media and amongst members of the bodybuilding community.
Following the actor’s declarations, fitness entrepreneur and founder of bodybuilding supplement REDCON1 Aaron Singerman announced that his company would no longer be supporting, nor attending, Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding events.
In an Instagram post, Singerman described the actor as “a guy who had nothing and no advantages, who never made an excuse, and created a tremendous success,” who “became an icon based on his work ethic, his charisma, and his grit.”
However, the fitness entrepreneur then added, “Anyone who says ‘screw your freedoms’ is un-American, and REDCON1 is a patriotic pro-freedom brand. We support freedom of choice. We don’t want Arnold censored or cancelled. We just can’t support his opinion with our dollars.”
Despite being particularly straightforward in his declaration, Singerman’s decision was seemingly misconstrued by some, as many people believed that REDCON1 had opted to stop supporting Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding events on account of the actor’s comments regarding mask mandates.
As recently reported by The Hill, who were contacted by a REDCON1 spokesperson, the supplement company decided to cut ties with Schwarzenegger because of his “anti-America” comments, not because of his stance on mask mandates.
“To be clear we did not pull out of the event because of a mask issue,” read the statement issued by REDCON1. “We understand the importance of public safety as well as the responsibilities of 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.’ With the global influence Arnold beholds we find that ideology dangerous and anti-America and community,” the statement concluded.
Interestingly, Schwarzenegger actually doubled down on his comments about mask mandates following the controversy, admitting in an editorial for The Atlantic that he had gone a bit too far when revealing his stance on people who refuse to wear facial masks.
“I’ll admit, calling people schmucks and saying ‘Screw your freedom’ was a little much, even if I stand by the sentiment,” wrote Schwarzenegger. “But there is nothing that I’m more passionate about than keeping America great, and it’s the only subject that can make me lose my temper.”
Schwarzenegger admitting to have lost his temper comes off as hypocritical, especially if we factor in the fact that he still stands by what he said. If anything, it was likely the backlash he received after making such comments that made him address the situation in the first place.
What do you make of REDCON1’s clarification as to why they decided to stop supporting Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding events? Let us know in the comments section down below or on social media.