In an interview published in Esquire on August 3, Clint Eastwood called the youth of America the “pussy generation” and came to the defense of Donald Trump’s blatant racism.
In the interview, the 86-year old actor talks quite freely about the nature of political discourse in this grueling election year and voices some relatively troublesome opinions about so-called “PC” culture.
Here’s the lead-up, with a classic “back in my day” shtick as an excuse.
ESQ: Your characters have become touchstones in the culture, whether it’s Reagan invoking “Make my day” or now Trump … I swear he’s even practiced your scowl.
CE: Maybe. But he’s onto something, because secretly everybody’s getting tired of political correctness, kissing up. That’s the kiss-ass generation we’re in right now. We’re really in a pussy generation. Everybody’s walking on eggshells. We see people accusing people of being racist and all kinds of stuff. When I grew up, those things weren’t called racist. And then when I did Gran Torino, even my associate said, “This is a really good script, but it’s politically incorrect.” And I said, “Good. Let me read it tonight.” The next morning, I came in and I threw it on his desk and I said, “We’re starting this immediately.”
Never mind the fact that as a man born in 1930, Eastwood was raised in a time when both segregation and the Japanese internment camps were a reality. Let Eastwood further clarify his position:
ESQ: What is the “pussy generation”?
CE: All these people that say, “Oh, you can’t do that, and you can’t do this, and you can’t say that.” I guess it’s just the times.
ESQ: What do you think Trump is onto?
CE: What Trump is onto is he’s just saying what’s on his mind. And sometimes it’s not so good. And sometimes it’s … I mean, I can understand where he’s coming from, but I don’t always agree with it.
ESQ: So you’re not endorsing him?
CE: I haven’t endorsed anybody. I haven’t talked to Trump. I haven’t talked to anybody. You know, he’s a racist now because he’s talked about this judge. And yeah, it’s a dumb thing to say. I mean, to predicate your opinion on the fact that the guy was born to Mexican parents or something. He’s said a lot of dumb things. So have all of them. Both sides. But everybody—the press and everybody’s going, “Oh, well, that’s racist,” and they’re making a big hoodoo out of it. Just fucking get over it. It’s a sad time in history.
Scary stuff, though not entirely unsurprising considering the fact that at the 2012 Republican National Convention, Eastwood delivered a critical and rambling speech to an empty chair meant to represent President Barack Obama.
You can read the rest of the interview, which also includes some colorful insight from his blandly handsome son, Scott, here.