Bradley Whitford: Donald Trump is racist, misogynistic & proudly unintellectual


I just spent way too much time looking up old photos of Janel Moloney and Bradley Whitford, also known as Donna Moss and Josh Lyman. Like so many people my age, I am a big West Wing fanatic, and yes, I shipped Donna and Josh for a while. Although I also enjoyed Josh and Amy (Mary Louise Parker). And remember Josh and Joey (Marlee Matlin)?? My favorite couple might have been CJ and Tobey though. And yes, I know they didn’t get together. But they were BFFs and they loved each other so deeply.

Where was I? Oh, yes. For some magical reason, People Magazine got the primary cast of The West Wing together for a series of interviews. They asked Bradley Whitford and Janel if they thought Josh and Donna would still be together, and Janel said Yes, of course.” YAY! I think they would still be together too, but they would fight a lot and Donna would have to forgive a lot. Bradley also got some questions about how the fictional West Wing world compares to the real life political mess we find ourselves in this year:

Aaron Sorkin created some of the most iconic political leaders and players in pop culture history in his acclaimed show The West Wing – but would he ever have imagined a character like presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump? Bradley Whitford, who played White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman for seven seasons on the NBC series, doesn’t think so.

“It’s terrible writing,” the 56-year-old actor recently told PEOPLE. “Look, our show had a progressive democratic point of view, and the fakest thing about our show was that we had rational Republicans written in to be the opposition.”

But Whitford, 56, didn’t stop there. The actor then took a swing at Trump’s often criticized views on minorities and women.

“Aaron never would have gotten away with writing a character as racist, as misogynist, as proudly unintellectual [and] as arrogant as Donald Trump,” he said.

[From People]

Throughout the series, the fictional Republicans are usually portrayed as decent people who are willing to listen to reason, and willing to play the tit-for-tat of political gamesmanship. So Whitford is right – if Aaron Sorkin had created a fictional character/candidate who was anything like the real Donald Trump, no one would have believed it. It would be considered cheap and tacky writing. That being said, there are repeated references in the West Wing-world to Republicans being increasingly (at the time) the party of anti-intellectualism. Remember, more than half the series took place during the Bush administration!

Photos courtesy of Getty, WENN.

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35 Responses to “Bradley Whitford: Donald Trump is racist, misogynistic & proudly unintellectual”

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  1. Esmom says:

    I almost forgot about him, wonder what he has been up to lately, I like him. And strangely, I was surfing Netflix just last night looking for a series to binge and I almost landed on WW, which I missed the first time. But then I thought maybe it wouldn’t have held up over the years so I chose Damages and I’m not sure it was a great choice yet.

    He speaks the truth about Trump, which is far stranger and more unbelievable than any fiction writer could conceive. Sigh.

    • Mia4s says:

      He was just in All the Way on HBO with Bryan Cranston. You should watch it, great movie, but it will take you a solid ten minutes or more to recognize him. He’s playing Hubert Humphrey and they did a great job on the make up…too great, LOL!

      Team Josh and Donna forever, of course.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Watch WW, Esmom. It holds up.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        I was too young to watch it when it first aired, so I watched it a couple of years ago, and while it is a good show, it has all the traits that make Sorkin’s shows annoying. All of the main characters are good people always willing to sacriface to do the right thing. and it’s annoying because politicians are not like that. While there surely are some who are in it for the right reasons, most are in it for their own profit. On both sides. You need to be willing to walk on corpses to make it in politics and most politicians are not decent people with integrity. So the West Wing sometimes got so preachy it was annoying. Especially when you’re not American.

        Pre last season Toby was awesome though. My favourite character

      • Timbuktu says:

        @Locke Lamora
        I feel like WW just doesn’t slow down enough to get preachy much. I honestly think the show seems preachy now because all the pivotal monologues have been pulled out and floating on the Internet for years, thus making it sound like Sorkin is just reciting Democratic talking points, while I feel like he’s the one who created them – not in a sense that no one thought about that reasoning before him, but in a sense that he made them pithy, compelling, and biting.

    • SusanneToo says:

      Watch it. It’s still very relevant

    • LemonLyman says:

      Stop what you’re doing and go back to WW! I missed the original run so started it while on maternity leave at the end of 2014. I am currently on my third rewatch. It’s a wonderful, wonderful series. And if the current political climate is as depressing for you as it is for me, Jed Bartlett is a delightful fantasy president.

    • Esmom says:

      Thanks, everyone, I will check it out for sure now. So happy I mentioned it here! 🙂

      • Kitten says:

        Damages is REALLY good. It starts off a bit slow like a lot of shows but be patient and you will be handsomely rewarded.

      • Esmom says:

        Good to know, Kitten, thanks. The pilot felt a little try hard to me…and I even called one of the big twists (Tate Donovan’s fake firing). The reason I chose it is because I just binged my way through Bloodline, which came from the same team. It was really good and left a little hole that I am now trying to fill. 🙂

        I was bummed to not find any recaps/discussions on the early episodes of Damages. One of my favorite things is going to EW or TV Club or TWOP and reading people’s takes about each episode of a show i’m into, even if it’s years later.

      • Shirleygail says:

        Watching Bradley Whitford in ‘The Good Guys’. Absolutely fantastic. Hilarious. He’s a phenomenal actor to pull off such two diverse characters.

      • TotallyBiased says:

        Shirleygail–we’re watching that now, too! I’m having trouble getting past certain annoying elements of his character, but aside from that it is hilarious and so well-written. I really enjoy identifying what movie they are sending up on occasion.
        One question for you: does Colin Hanks’ character ever strike
        you as someone who bingewatched too much NCIS, obsessing over McGee?

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      Oh it holds up, it really does. It’s a little scary to be honest. Sorkin is full of himself and it always comes through in his writing but on The West Wing, he reigns it in rather well. I re-watch it (not all of it) at least every two years.

      • Shirleygail says:

        Me too. Own the DVD’s. sometimes just pull out a disc at random to ‘check in’ with intelligent TV. It holds up. It really does.

    • notafan says:

      I loved him and Colin Hanks in Nice Guys. Too bad it didn’t last long. It was a hilarious show.

    • holly hobby says:

      He was also in Trophy Wife. Terrible sitcom name but it was really funny. Marcia Gay Harden was one of the ex wives.

  2. Erinn says:

    “Aaron never would have gotten away with writing a character as racist, as misogynist, as proudly unintellectual [and] as arrogant as Donald Trump,”

    I think that speaks volumes. He wouldn’t have gotten away with writing up a fictional character that crass and obnoxious and hateful – but here we have Trumpf in the race for POTUS.

    • Alex says:

      Yep that quote resonates. It’s amazing. He’s right about the rest a lot of the writing doesn’t reflect the political climate…I mean just look at the obstructionist BS Onama dealt with for 8 years

    • Kitten says:

      You know that expression “you can’t make this stuff up”?
      But yeah, he’s dead-on with that statement.

  3. SusanneToo says:

    “Look, our show had a progressive democratic point of view, and the fakest thing about our show was that we had rational Republicans written in to be the opposition.”

    Yes, that’s what always bumfuzzled me about the West Wing-rational Republicans. That lent a sci-fi aspect to the show.

    • Kitten says:

      Same with the central character in Newsroom. If Will McAvoy exited in real life, he’d be a paid parrot on Fox News.

    • Jwoolman says:

      Once upon a time, there really were a lot of rational Republicans in Congress. So the series was reflecting an earlier time. There were still a few left by the first Gulf War – I remember one of them speaking eloquently against that foolishness (Senator Mark Hatfield).

      I used to actually be able to vote for some Republicans. Not in years, though. I’ve been so angry with the national Republican Party for inflicting bad Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates on us (and Presidents who have caused so much suffering here and elsewhere, with murder and mayhem on a grand scale that also happens to be bankrupting us financially as well as spiritually) that now I won’t vote for a Republican even for dog catcher, as the saying goes. The Democrats aren’t angels, but in recent times they have been the Party that does less damage to us and the rest of the world.

  4. Melissa says:

    My husband and I are rewatching WW , now on Season 3. And yes, it certainly does hold up and quite eerily almost prophetic.

  5. Brunswickstoval says:

    Sums Trump up perfectly.

  6. anniefannie says:

    Little know fact: Whitford was dating JFK jr’s wife Carolyn when they first met . JFK showed a huge amount of interest in WW and I always wondered if that had something to do w/it.

    • Timbuktu says:

      Sorry, struggling with reading comprehension here. Whitford was dating JFK’s wife Carolyn when who first met? Whitford was already dating her when he met her? Or Whitford was dating JFK jr’s wife when JFK Jr met her? So, she was his future wife at that point, then?
      And what “that” had something to do with what “it”? JFK showed interest in WW because his wife’s ex was in it?
      Really not snark! Perhaps lack of coffee?

      • anniefannie says:

        Sorry, 1st day of new job nerves. Carolyn and Bradly were dating when she met JFK Jr. It’s my impression that it was serious w/Bradley but because of his career demands waning when she met JFK.
        I think JFK’s interest in WW might have a little to do w/ his curiosity of Bradley. He was an unabashed fan of WW and featured the cast or Rob L ( can’t remember which ) on his magazine George.
        Hope that helps!

      • Timbuktu says:

        Gotcha now! Thanks!

    • Hazel says:

      I would think JFK Jr had an interest in the WW because he was the son of a President & spent his earliest years living in the White House.

    • holly hobby says:

      He was also married to the Mom from Malcolm in the Middle. Sadly they are no longer together.

  7. QQ says:

    “, and the fakest thing about our show was that we had rational Republicans written in to be the opposition.”

    OOP! Read them Sir!, KEEP READING EM

  8. Kilo Tango says:

    Yes love Bradley 🙂 his comments are spot on. He did a good turn I Saw The Light too recently.

    I have proposed to my hubby that if we have a daughter we name her CJ, he doesn’t know why!

    Will Baileys sarcastic asides gave me life too. I think I’m gonna have to go back and watch it all again?

    • TotallyBiased says:

      He’s just so good in anything he does. Remember Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip?

      • Huck's Mom says:

        Yes! I loved that one season show and still get made fun of because of my love for it. I too shipped Donna and Josh so hard. West Wing, at least the first few seasons, is a much watch.