In terms of quality, James Woods’ filmography rivals any other Hollywood legend. He rose to prominence for his remarkable performance in The Onion Field, a 1979 murder drama that marked his eleventh film appearance. Over the next three decades, he had a stable and successful career as a leading man in several films and television shows.
He had multiple award nominations and won three Primetime Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Film in 1986.
What exactly happened to destroy such a seasoned artist’s career to the point where he has nearly vanished from our screens?
James Woods hasn’t had an acting role since he was hired as a voice actor for the Kingdom Hearts III video game in 2019, but that hasn’t stopped him from sharing his thoughts. The far-right actor has grown increasingly enraged with Twitter’s heavy censorship. In an appearance with Fox News in early December, Woods discussed this issue and said, “I’m going to employ a lawyer. I’m going to sue the Democratic National Committee no matter what.”
On July 4th, 2018, Woods allegedly received an email from his agency informing him that he was leaving him as a client for “patriotic” reasons. “So today I got this email from my agent (a political liberal),” the caption says. The next day, Woods shared a photo of the communiqué on his Twitter page.
“On this Fourth of July, I’m feeling pretty patriotic,” the message said. “I no longer wish to represent you. I could rant, but you already know what I’d say.” Naturally, Woods immediately responded to the message with a retort.
“Dear Ken,” he wrote. “I honestly don’t [know what his agency would say]. If you were patriotic, I thought you would appreciate freedom of expression and the right to think for yourself. In any case, I want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication on my behalf. Best wishes.”
Naturally, Woods’ agent, Ken Kaplan, referred to the actor’s strong and regular support of then-President Donald Trump, which was widely condemned in Hollywood.
The previously fruitful collaboration between Woods and Kaplan’s Gersh Agency ended following that Twitter argument. Gersh, one of the industry’s top talent agencies, represents celebrities such as Kristen Stewart, Adam Driver, and Patricia Arquette.
Many Twitter users reacted positively to the news, implying that Woods was not being victimized and was merely reaping what he had sown. “To be clear, Woods did not lose his agency because he is liberal. He didn’t lose his agent because he couldn’t find work or because he wasn’t a skilled actor. No one wants to work with virulently racist a***oles.” Therefore, he lost his agent, according to one tweet.
“Hello, agent for James Woods,” wrote April Reign, a media activist, and strategist. “Jimmy, just because you have the right to free speech does not imply you are exempt from punishment.” According to author Gary Legum, the problem with James Woods alleging that his agency dismissed him because he is a conservative is that there is a fine line between his loud conservatism and being an a**hole.
Woods is neither the first nor the most controversial conservative in Hollywood. Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s father and a great actor in his own right, is a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and frequently posts extremely emotional political videos on his social media platforms.
Of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Republican governor of California for seven years. Melissa Joan Hart and Clint Eastwood are very open about their political beliefs. Caitlyn Jenner is currently running for governor of California on a conservative platform, attempting to pull off the Schwarzenegger trick.
Although all of these public personalities have suffered criticism for their political views to varying degrees, only Woods has endured the kind of serious professional consequences that Woods has. Because he hasn’t had a prominent role in years, one would expect the actor would have toned down the political rhetoric for a while.
On the other hand, Woods has worked to remove Joe Biden from office and ensure Donald Trump’s reelection. In May 2020, Woods tweeted, “Let’s be honest. Donald Trump is a violent individual. He’s arrogant, rude, and raw. However, he loves America more than any other president, in my experience. He is the last line of defense between us and the muck that is Washington. I’d take him over any of these scumbags every time.”