Rose McGowan, once a leading voice for the film industry’s MeToo movement, disavowed Hollywood and the Democratic Party on Sunday night during a stump speech for Larry Elder, a Republican frontrunner in an election to recall California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
In her endorsement of Elder, McGowan said she’d grown disillusioned with Hollywood, and recounted conversations they’d had when she was still working on movies and television.
“I finally came to a point where I am not a Democrat, because everyone who has harassed, stalked, and stolen from me in my time in Hollywood has been a Democrat,” she said, according to Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel. “I used to listen to Larry Elder after I’d drive home from the set. Sometimes I’d even pull over and use a fake name, usually Tracy, to call in. And from him, I learned about the corruption of the teachers union in this state.”
This course of events—McGowan denouncing her party and aligning herself with a Republican candidate for office—may be surprising, but it was not entirely unpredictable. In 2018, McGowan told the Sunday Times that she agreed with Trump supporters who accuse Hollywood actors of being “faux liberals,” and said that the industry’s MeToo movement—which she said she was ostracized from—was “bullshit” and a “lie to make them feel better.”
There may be a kernel of truth to the latter opinion—that many actors’ support of #MeToo, and Time’s Up especially, was largely for show. But it’s clear that McGowan has become a reactionary, criticizing these institutions—liberalism, Hollywood, celebrity feminism—from the right, not the left. Speaking of Malia Obama’s internship with the Weinstein Company, where she worked before the allegations emerged, McGowan said: “They’re all in on it.”
“Do I agree with [Elder] on every issue? No. So what?” McGowan continued. “He is the better candidate. He is the better man.”
At the campaign event, McGowan also accused Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, of attempting to convince her not to go public with her allegations against Harvey Weinstein in 2017 and trying to set up a backdoor deal with Weinstein’s lawyers. Through a spokesperson, Siebel Newsom told the Associated Press that the allegations were a “complete fabrication.”