Matthew McConaughey said being a Christian in Hollywood hasn't caused him problems, but he has watched others in entertainment limit expressions of their faith.
The Oscar-winner made a recent appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” promoting the release of his memoir “Greenlights,” and dropped his guard while discussing the touchy topics of his experience being a Christian in Hollywood, defunding the police and cancel culture.
"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, 50, told the Spotify podcast host. "You can't erase someone's entire existence. Where the heck does some forgiveness go?"
When pressed by Rogan, 53, if he himself has experienced any level of discrimination within showbiz for being a vocal Christian in an overtly liberal industry, the “Dallas Buyers Club” performer said he “hasn’t had any difficulties” but noted that he has observed many of his peers publicly pulling back on the idea of placing their faith in a higher power, despite McConaughey claiming he has previously prayed over food with them.
"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 explained. "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.”
The actor continued that he has "seen people read the room" and elect not to clap during his acceptance speeches, which mention his faith, under the fear that doing so "wouldn't bode well for [them] in the future for getting a job or getting votes or what have you.'"
McConaughey told Rogan he doesn't "judge them for it.”
The “Interstellar” star thanked God in his 2014 acceptance speech when he won best actor for “Dallas Buyers Club,” admitting 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,” the actor added. “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.'"
“The two are not exclusive. They dance together; they go together, belief and science. I never saw those as contradictions,” he said.
McConaughey, whose memoir, “Greenlights” was released on Oct. 20, said during a virtual appearance on “Fox & Friends” that politically, he stands somewhere in the middle of an increasingly bi-partisan system.
He echoed a similar sentiment to Rogan when he told the mixed martial arts commentator and funnyman that some folks in Hollywood are so strong in their beliefs that oftentimes those who are left-leaning become “illiberal,” and added that in his estimation, the “condescending and patronizing” of people who carry differing beliefs has to stop for the greater good of everyone.
"It's just so arrogant, and in some ways hypocritical to me," he said.
Meanwhile, Rogan asked the Texas native his views on ongoing cries to “defund” the police, to which McConaughey simply said he believes the term is somewhat misconstrued in its use by supporters and detractors of the notion.
"It's almost like it should have been renamed because 'defund' does not sound anything like there's been money reallocated to different areas of handling some police exercise," McConaughey said. "It sounds like you got a million and, 'We're taking three hundred thousand. Good luck.' And it's not exactly what it is, to be fair."
Police reform needs an honest conversation between police and the communities they serve, he said. People need to communicate what they view as unfair treatment and why they feel it is unfair.
McConaughey maintained to Rogan that police need room to assess their culture as well, adding that police have to be able to look at their ranks to address problem officers by retraining them or removing them. But he also said that there needs to be an effort to train police better.
Police should remind people that they are like tow truck drivers, the actor leveled.
‘“We're not called when there's good news; we're called when it's bad news. So we're coming in looking for trouble,'' McConaughey said as a hypothetical officer. "'So we're already under stress when we get a call. Can 'y'all' help us in the way we communicate? Can we get trust again?'"
In McConaughey’s first book, he categorized events in his life as green lights, yellow lights and red lights — moments that accelerated him, made him pause, or were low points, respectively.