Former California GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been dropped by a bodybuilding sponsor following a recent rant directed at anti-maskers.
Sports supplement company REDCON1 called Schwarzenegger's comments "anti-America." In addition to pulling it sponsorship, the company is also disaffiliating itself from a Schwarzenegger bodybuilding event next month.
"To be clear we did not pull out of the event because of a mask issue. 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," a spokesperson for the company told The Hill. "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."
Earlier this month, Schwarzenegger, the "Terminator" actor and former bodybuilding champion, said during an interview that COVID-19 denial is not something that should be tolerated.
"You have the freedom to wear no mask – but you know something? You’re a schmuck for not wearing a mask. Because you are supposed to protect your fellow Americans around you," he said during the interview, adding, "Screw your freedom."
In a video statement posted to his instagram, REDCON1 founder Aaron Singerman said of the company's decision, "Me personally and everyone at REDCON1 has always loved Arnold. Over the years, I've overlooked a lot of stuff ... because we love him so much."
However, "When somebody says 'Screw your freedom,' I can't and REDCON1 can't in good conscience continue to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars sponsoring that person or show," he continued.