Arnold Schwarzenegger Explains Why He Made Those Viral Mask Wearing Comments

T-800 / Carl (Arnold Schwarzenegger) stares in Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is arguably one of the most outspoken people in Hollywood, as the 74-year-old actor and former California governor rarely ever minces words. This was certainly the case last month when he shared some honest thoughts regarding those who choose not to wear masks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Schwarzenegger is explaining why he made the comments.

In August, the former bodybuilder took part in an interview, during which he discussed the spread of COVID-19 misinformation. While sharing his thoughts on the situation, he chastised those who opt not to wear masks, get vaccinated or follow health guidelines. He also argued that those who claim their freedoms are being infringed upon by such rules should consider that “with freedom comes obligations and responsibilities.” Finally, the actor stated that one who chooses not to follow regulations is “a schmuck.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger got candid about his recent comments in a lengthy blog post. The veteran star did not back down from the comments and also shared the original interview along with a January Facebook post, which sparked the question leading to his sentiments. However, ahead of the clip, Schwarzenegger expressed his belief that readers could take something important from reading FB post and watching the video:

Now, let’s deal with the COVID stuff. If you are furious at me for my comments, read this because I think you can learn something. You might hate 90% of it and agree with 10%, but I’ll take that. If you agreed with me and think you’ve heard enough, please read this because there might be something here that helps you deal with people who don’t agree with you.

He later acknowledged that his words were “harsh” and that many put heavy emphasis on some of the more pointed statements within his overall argument. After speaking on the backlash he received for making the comments, he provided clarity regarding who he was specifically speaking to at the time:

If they listened to the whole quote, they would have realized that I am talking about all of the whiny babies that I see going viral on the internet who think that being asked to put on a mask is a perfect reason to throw a toddler fit in a grocery store and look like an absolute child. These are people who yell “FREEDOM” in their American flag hats while not taking any time to study the history of our nation and how freedom and duty have ALWAYS gone hand in hand. They think being an American means not caring about their fellow Americans, and I’m sorry, I can’t accept that.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger mentioned, the response to his comments was strong. Following the interview, he even lost his REDCON1 bodybuilding sponsorship. The company explained that the move was not related to a mask issue but was spurred by the star’s “screw your freedoms” comment.

The Terminator veteran is far from the only Hollywood actor to share thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic. Star Wars legend Mark Hamill has shared thoughts on why he thinks the public should listen to medical professionals regarding the pandemic. Tom Hanks, who contracted the virus early on alongside wife Rita Wilson, has also been vocal about health protocols. He even shared some blunt thoughts about those who choose not to wear masks.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has continued to be vocal about the pandemic in the weeks since he made the comments. And knowing the actor, one would assume that he’ll continue to do so.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.