Martin Sheen calls Donald Trump a tyrant
Sheen connected 'Anne of Green Gables' to what he believes the nation needs now
President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t have Martin Sheen’s approval.
The actor, who brought fictional Democratic President Jed Bartlet to life on The West Wing, sounded off on Trump in an interview with EW about PBS’ new Anne of Green Gables movie.
“You’re going to get far more than you give if you go outside yourself and welcome someone who has nowhere else to go,” Sheen said of the message in the remake, which captures the story of Anne Shirley (Ella Ballentine), an orphan taken in by elderly siblings, Marilla (Sara Botsford) and Matthew Cuthbert (Sheen). “That resonates today, and it’s very important for us to hear the story of inclusion, because God forgive us, but we just elected a tyrant.”
Sheen has slammed Trump before, calling him an “empty-headed moron.” He also appeared in Joss Whedon’s anti-Trump PSA and campaigned for Clinton with the cast of West Wing. Speaking with EW, the actor and activist highlighted why he has been concerned about the soon-to-be commander-in-chief.
“This guy is going to be true to his word, and he’s bringing in all these people who have fed at the same trough,” Sheen said of reports about Trump’s administration, which is being formed by a transition team led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence. “It’s going to be a very, very anxious-ridden time. Two of the issues that I’m most concerned about are [global warming], which these guys are all denying, and the immigration issue.”
Sheen addressed Trump’s remarks on immigration enforcement, suggesting Americans won’t stand for plans that entail mass deportations. “I think we’re going to have to get in front of this movement to deport these people,” said Sheen. “We’re going to have to say, ‘You cannot do this over us. You’re going to have to go through us, around us, under us. We’re not going to give these people up without a fight.'”
He added: “Every single one of the people they’re trying to deport is one of us, and we’re not going to give them up.”
The actor also offered an optimistic message to the majority of American voters who didn’t support Trump at the voting booth. (According to the Associated Press, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s lead in the popular vote exceeded 1.5 million votes as of Sunday, even though Trump won the Electoral College.) “We belong to a very, very exclusive club. It’s called the United States,” said Sheen. “And the dues are very, very high. And sometimes the leadership does not represent the core values of most of the members of that club. But we don’t withdraw. We try to change the thinking of those in power, and if that doesn’t work, then we change those in power. We’re still part of this. We cannot divest ourselves.”
Sheen continued: “This man is reflecting a part of our culture that the majority of us do not recognize and do not share. We don’t approve of tyrants and bullies, but we’re stuck with one now, and now our real character is going to show up. And it isn’t just dealing with Don Trump. It’s dealing with all of the neocons he’s bringing in with him that will do the bidding: [Rudy] Giuliani and [Chris] Christie and all these other people that have fed at the same trough. We have to realize that they are the ones influencing this guy and they have credibility, because they have occupied high office before and they know how to run government organizations. They’re the dangerous ones. He can only do so much.”
All things considered, Sheen believes “we’re in for a very, very serious and important time” that requires action. “We can’t sit back,” he told EW. “We can’t not get involved. We have to get more and more and more involved. And we have to allow ourselves to be taken to the best part of ourselves, and it’s gonna be costly. But that’s what it means to belong to this very exclusive club.”
Anne of Green Gables airs Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on PBS.
Anne of Green Gables