Many of us have witnessed anti-Christian bias in Hollywood. The entertainment industry has become synonymous with non-Christian values and lifestyles, and those who do enforce faith values and lifestyles are frowned upon in the industry. This can make actors in Hollywood hesitant about sharing their faith out of fear of being blackballed or isolated by their colleagues.
The Oscar-winning actor recently opened up about how the industry limits expressions of faith. While Matthew McConaughey says that his Christian faith hasn’t caused issues for him in Hollywood, he did say that he has seen others in the entertainment industry limit their expressions of faith.
McConaughey talked about this in detail in a recent appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” while promoting his recent memoir Greenlights. He spoke about many topics during the Spotify podcast, including being a Christian in Hollywood, defunding the police, and cancel culture, Fox News reports.
“We’re making people persona non grata because of something they do that is right now deemed wrong, or it’s the hot point in a hot topic right now,” McConaughey told Rogan. “You can’t erase someone’s entire existence. Where the heck does some forgiveness go?”
When Rogan asked McConaughey about specific moments of discrimination he faced, McConaughey expressed that he “hasn’t had any difficulties,” but did shared that he has watched his peers publicly holding back on the idea of faith in a higher power and expressing their faith with others.
“I have had moments where I was on stage receiving an award in front of my peers in Hollywood, and there were people in the crowd that I have prayed with before dinners, many times,” McConaughey expressed. “And when I thank God, I saw some of those people go to clap, but then notice that, ‘This could be a bad thing on my resume,’ and then sit back on their hands.”
McConaughey said that he has even “seen people read the room” and choose not to clap during acceptance speeches where there is any mention of faith, fearing that if they do it will hurt them in the future for getting a job or votes, he expressed.
While these moments caught his attention, he didn’t judge his fellow actors and colleagues for it.
During McConaughey’s memorable 2014 acceptance speech when he won the best actor award for “Dallas Buyers Club” he expressed that God has “graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand.”
“He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates,” McConaughey said. “In the words of the late (British actor) Charlie Laughton, who said, ‘When you got God you got a friend and that friend is you.’”
“Science is the practical pursuit of God,” McConaughey said. “The two are not exclusive, they dance together. They go together, belief and science, and I never saw those as contradictions.
“There’s a lot of great truths that come out of the Bible,” McConaughey concluded.
During the podcast interview, McConaughey opened up about how he believes that the Bible and the physical world of science work together. Later in the interview with Rogan, he talked about Black Lives Matter and his thoughts on the push to “defund the police.” McConaughey expressed that we need to get to a place where we agree there is a need for law and order, but also confronting that there are a “few bad apples” in police forces around the nation.
These bad cops “either need to be trained better” or “need to be removed,” McConaughey said.
McConaughey told Rogan that he doesn’t understand how stripping law enforcement of its funding repairs the relationship between the community and the police force.
“I don’t see how that’s gonna rehabilitate that relationship. Now you have spite on both sides,” McConaughey said.
He later added that he would rather see the police reallocate their money for better training and to also rebuild broken relationships within their communities.
McConaughey was raised Methodist. His name is biblical, and his parents were very intentional about his name. This is one reason why they never shortened his name to “Matt,” the actor said.
“[My mother] said: ‘Your name is Matthew, I named you after the Bible. It is not Matt, do not ever answer to Matt in your life.’ It was like ‘Yes mam’, so that’s one of the things when people go ‘Matt’, I say ‘Matthew, please’,” according to Hollowverse.
When McConaughey married Brazilian model and designer Camila Alves, they had a catholic ceremony. While it is unclear whether McConaughey is still a practicing Methodist, his marriage in Catholic ceremony may point to McConaughey connecting more with the Catholic faith.
It is refreshing to see actors in Hollywood speaking up and openly about their faith. We hope that McConaughey will turn to more roles that reinforce his faith values and beliefs.