Liev Schreiber: Jon Voight & I agreed, years ago, to ‘never talk about politics’

Jon Voight is an Oscar-winning actor, the father of Angelina Jolie and James Haven, and a total Republican nutjob. Voight wasn’t always so fascist. Like so many elderly people, I think he was radicalized over time by far-right media, and he regularly spouted the same talking points used by people like Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. I always felt like Voight’s career needed to go in the sh-tter just for his bonkers political statements, but for years, he was a reliable supporting player on Ray Donovan. Voight plays Ray’s father. Liev Schreiber plays Ray, obvs. Liev is not known as a raging liberal, but I guess he does have this one quote attributed to him, where he says he believes Trump stole the election. So how did Liev deal with working with Jon Voight for years?

For seven seasons and one wrap-up movie, Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight played often-bitter familial adversaries on Showtime’s Ray Donovan. But despite the actors’ stark political differences in real-life — Voight is an outspoken Republican and acolyte of Donald Trump and Schreiber is, well, decidedly neither of those things — real-life did not imitate art behind-the-scenes at Ray Donovan.

Although political tensions between Schreiber and Voight have occasionally spilled out onto social media (like in 2016 and 2020), “Jon and I made an agreement years ago to just never talk about politics,” Schreiber tells TVLine. “It’s just something that we don’t want in the workspace. We don’t want that. Our jobs are difficult enough as they are without all the other nonsense coming into it. So, for that brief time that we’re working together, we just don’t do it.

“I love Jon,” he adds. “I would do anything for him.”

[From TV Line]

I’m including those two tweets below – they seem to be the only times Liev has addressed the Voight mess publicly. I mean… some people are capable of silo-ing their politics and their work life, and Liev seems to be one of them. Liev did clearly say in the 2020 tweet that Voight was “instigating violence and division,” which is a pretty accurate description. But basically Liev is like: I’m not Jon Voight’s keeper, I just work with the guy. Imagine how embarrassed Angelina Jolie must be though. Lord.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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38 Responses to “Liev Schreiber: Jon Voight & I agreed, years ago, to ‘never talk about politics’”

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  1. Wiglet Watcher says:

    I don’t know how you can section that off. Political issues are often personal opinions that make up our thoughts. Our personalities. Our values. How we appear to others. You cannot claim to like or know someone more than a casual acquaintance if you refuse to also know that side of them.

    • Debbie says:

      Although Trump has echoed some stereotypes about Jews and money, Trump is not known to be virulently antisemitic. Let’s face it, even if he were called that, he would throw out Jared as a shield (Jared would gladly fulfill that role too). So, maybe that’s why Liev Shriber doesn’t mind a Trump supporter that much. He may see Trump as other people’s problems.

      • Winechampion says:

        Huh? Are you saying Schreiber is Jewish, and Trump isn’t anti-Semitic, therefore Schreiber doesn’t mind Trump supporters? There are plenty of Jews who mind Trump supporters very much. This comment actually comes off kind of anti-Semitic.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        I believe trump has proven over decades to be a fair weathered racist for lack of a better term. He will go against whatever group gains him favor with another. There’s no gray area with him in that sense. I also believe he’s suffering from dementia and doesn’t understand half of what is happening around him.

        I think LS is trying to walk a line many have failed. You cannot respect someone while ignoring most of what they are.

  2. Bettyrose says:

    You have to make allowances for coworkers because you’re trapped with them. But that’s all Jon Voight gets. His children have long since disowned him. (And yet he stars in Deliverance, the ultimate nightmare of what coastal elites lost in rural America. Before that dichotomy was even a thing. Cognitive dissonance?)

  3. canichangemyname says:

    I can totally get keeping politics out of work. I HAVE to – my boss is crazy right-wing conservative, and she tried to get my take on something a few weeks ago. I just told her I preferred not to talk about politics at work and changed the subject because I knew she was gunning for an argument.
    It’s a little bit harder for me to imagine LIKING the person though, as Liev says he likes Jon. I’ve literally already written up my letter of resignation and just hanging on to it until I find another position, for which I’m actively looking lol. I can’t imagine actually being friends with a hard-core Republican Trumper.
    But Liev is a wealthy white man in a bubble, so I’m sure it’s easier for him to put those differences aside.

    • North of Boston says:

      Your last paragraph nailed it. LS can afford to silo his life because he personally is not the one threatened by the main aspects of toxic misogynistic white nationalism.

      Sure there’s the whole threat to democracy, teetering on autocracy, climate change will kill us all if we don’t act now aspect, but in general if you’re a wealthy healthy white guy who doesn’t life in an active war zone and who has a home of your own, you can imagine you live in a bubble and nothing the MAGAloonies say on their own time is relevant to your daily life, so you’re free to set it aside and not let it bother your pretty little head.

    • vs says:

      You last paragraph explained exactly how I felt about his “love” for Jon Voigt!!!! you found the words I couldn’t! indeed, this man can afford to live with assholes like Jon Voigt because regardless of who is the president of the US, his life will be minimally affected!

    • Otaku fairy says:

      True. There are unfortunately a lot of marginalized people who insist on telling everyone that their willingness to do this makes them One of the good ones. If someone chooses to continue to include and be close to a conservative in their life, they’ve really got to use caution and avoid enabling certain behaviors. They’ve got to make sure that decision doesn’t negatively impact the way they react to people who don’t hide the ways conservative policies and beliefs hurt them, and people they care about.

  4. Bex says:

    The privilege one has when they can choose to maintain a friendship with a racist bigot.

    • Knish says:

      Actually, I think the majority of people have to interact with people who differ from themselves in some way…. I would think the privilege lies with those who do not.

      • Call_Me_Al says:

        Agree. People who don’t have to silo must not live in the South, work in a diverse workplace, etc. You have to get along with people. And I can respect, love and even like someone who supports Trump because people are complex.

    • Sean says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Liev is just wearing a smile publicly. He may not really see John as a friend or even like him. Rather, perhaps he’s just saying these things to keep the working relationship smooth.

      At a previous job, I was surrounded by Trumpian right-wingers. I would always act like I was disinterested in “politics” whenever they’d try to loop me in. I’d steer conversations back to topics I knew we could discuss civilly and stay friendly. At my current job, my two main colleagues are unvaccinated and one is refusing to get it. Because they’re unvaccinated, they’re allowed to work from home. Meanwhile, I have to handle their on site responsibilities in addition to my own. I view them as self-centered assholes (as I view all unvaccinated who are so without a legitimate medical reason). However, I maintain positive relationships with both because I need the support they still provide.

      I may be the same with Liev’s relationship with John. Or so one would hope.

  5. Jordana says:

    I couldn’t agree more with the article’s comment about the elderly being radicalized by the far-right media over time. My own parents have fallen into this, and it’s become much worse in the last 2 years, during the pandemic.
    I tried to have a group video chat with them and my siblings last night, because we are all apart geographically we try to do it regularly. The call opening conversation was my mother on a pandemic-restrictions-protest rant for a few minutes. I knew it was pointless to try to correct her misinformation, but I tried. Her views were disturbing, honestly, and not the left-leaning mother I remember from my childhood.

    • Eurydice says:

      That’s happened to an older friend of mine. He used to be to the left of left and now he calls me with rants from FOX. But I don’t think it’s just FOX – I think it’s Facebook, too. The algorithm keeps feeding him right-leaning news and opinions, and the more he reads them, the more it sends them – like a tightening circle. But we’ve been friends for decades and he’s always been a kind and generous person, so we work to keep things on common ground.

    • Kebbie says:

      My parents switched from cable to antenna and Netflix a couple years ago and I think it’s the only reason my mom and I were able to get my dad to take covid seriously. He wore his mask and got vaxxed as soon as I could get him an appointment. He watches local news now, but he used to watch Fox News every night. Not watching that when covid hit likely saved his life. They’re killing people.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      When I worked at an assisted living facility most nodded off to Fox News. It was their window to the world and they took it as gospel.

      • Skyblue says:

        As a home health health/hospice nurse, I visit assisted living facilities frequently. I know the staff turn Fox News on in one of the common areas so I covertly switch it to Turner Classic Movies…I was chilling there one afternoon, finishing my charting and watching Dr. Zhivago when the MAGA maintenance man stopped by to see what was playing, probably hoping to get a FOX new fix before stomping off to attend to a broken faucet. Anyway, I mistakenly thought we might share a love of Dr Zhivago and could talk about the insanely beautiful Julie Christie or marvel at the ice palace scene but nope, his only comment was “that’s where America is headed”.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Sky blue
        Lol… I did try to change the channels and they woke up or became agitated so it wasn’t something to be done.

  6. Knish says:

    Actually, I love Schreiber’s 2020 tweet. Respecting each other’s differences is what this country was SUPPOSED to be built upon. It’s always been a work in progress and obviously still is. He clearly called out the danger of Voight’s words and actions – but he also pointed out the humanity of the situation. The more divided we remain, the weaker and weaker this country will become…. imo.

    • Blue Toile says:

      I can see you mean well, but I must take serious issue with your comment. Blatant racism, cruelty to immigrants, mocking the disabled, name-calling, putting civilians in physical danger with deranged tweets, siding with a hostile foreign leader against our own intelligence agencies while standing on foreign soil, shaking down weaker country’s leaders for help to derail an election, demanding a state official lie about election results, firing up a mob and sending them down the road to literally harm the VP and threaten Congress is NOT a let’s-just-agree-to-disagree scenario. I won’t even get into the politicization of a pandemic, vaccines, and mask wearing. You do you, but it will be a cold day in hell before I ever “respect” these differences. I have cut off everyone in my life that supports Trump. Everyone including immediate family and long-time friends. I left my church because 60-70% vote Trump and I couldn’t stand being in a meeting wondering which ones thought it was in any way compatible with Christ. We all fall short of the Glory of God, but if you think Trump is acceptable there is something very, very broken inside of you. We will not be stronger as a country by being accepting such thoughts and behaviors. I have said for several years that Trump has revealed not only who we are as a country, but who we are as individuals. We are one of those few moments in history where what we do and believe really matters. It is 1930s Europe all over again.

      • Knish says:

        Well – I’ve always believed in communication, in diplomacy, if you will. And my personal thought is that your approach only further entrenches people in their viewpoint. I’d rather one of those individuals who has fallen prey to Fox News have a chat with you, and see you as a human who maybe shares other interests or passions with you, rather than as a stereotype of a mindset that they are being told to hate. Obviously, this is only my opinion. Best-

      • Truthiness says:

        Blue Toile, I join you on your sideline. I cut out lifelong friends who went Trumpish. I can’t. I. Just. Can’t. You’re right, there are more than just echoes of Weimar Germany. All they need is for good people to do nothing. Let me amend that, they need good privileged people to do nothing. Recently I blocked both family and longtime colleagues out of my phone. The colleague wanted to edit my virus history into an anti-vax piece of propaganda, to tell hundreds in their church. Who will in turn tell so many more. That church will honor and favor her for such a scoop (lie) and telegraph it to all from on high – I already heard back that she’d done so. The desperate voicemail of my colleague sounded like a junkie pleading for another hit, pretending to be so very gravely concerned about me. “Please please call me, I hooooope to hear from you.” Nope. Not today Satan.

      • Blue Toile says:

        Knish, if Trump followers do not already see me as human then nothing I do or say is going to help. I am not here to make them feel better about their thoughts and behaviors. I already see them as humans. Humans who are wrong, behaving recklessly, even evil. I do not want to kill them or see them dead, as so many do me. I want to see their belief system crushed and see them shamed to the point they can begin to rethink their position. As something of a history nut since I won a history competition in 5th grade, I have always wondered what I would have done if I lived in 1930s-40s Europe. I am still not 100% certain of a path, but I know that going along to get along would not have happened. I am not going to stand by and make nice while a large percentage of my fellow citizens work toward autocracy and further marginalization of the most vulnerable. Never gonna happen. I do not need personal relationships with misguided and/or hateful people to work against everything they have come to stand for.

      • Knish says:

        “And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.” Nelson Mandela

      • @Knish: That quote’s taken out of context. Mandela was speaking about how people aren’t born bigoted, it’s something they learn. But there’s a difference between teaching love by supporting initiatives that change society overall (like, say, giving less of a platform to bigots), and enabling bigots and fascists by staying friendly with them when you don’t have to—after a certain point, if you do that, you are complicit.

        You can’t teach people who aren’t willing to learn, and you can’t reason someone out of a belief they didn’t reason their way into. Pus, it’s not the job of the marginalized to “teach” those who oppress us. Do you also think an abused women should try to teach her victimizer to treat her better, rather than simply leaving?

        My (now ex-) spouse insisted on remaining friendly with misogynists and anti-semites while claiming that friendship and conversations with them could somehow change them; it didn’t. They only used the friendship with him (and me) as proof that there was nothing with their beliefs. People like this don’t examine their beliefs without consequences—like losing friendships or being ostracized.

    • Knish says:

      @Margaret Sadovsky Yes, that is why I chose this quote…. people weren’t born believing far-right agenda, it’s something they learned. I have read several comments describing this very phenomena on this article. Bigotry: obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction; in particular, prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.

      Look, I had no intention of stirring the pot with my posts today. I don’t spend my day seeking people out to convert to my ideology. Are there people who I find repulsive due to their rhetoric? Yes. Do I seek out their company? No. But I haven’t I cut off all communication with every person who voted for Trump, or is afraid of vaccines, or who reads/watches and believes ridiculous things. Do I get frustrated? YES! But I also don’t want to get to a point in which people are identified solely by their political ideology. Is it natural that people seek out like-minded individuals? Yes. I just hope that that doesn’t become the only criteria for people to use.

      • “But I also don’t want to get to a point in which people are identified solely by their political ideology.”

        For some of us, it is DANGEROUS not to do so. I don’t care how wonderful someone might be aside from the fact that they think people like me deserve less rights, or even to not exist. Because I can’t AFFORD to ignore all that. Believing people like me deserve less rights, or enabling people like that, is a deal-breaker for a lot of marginalized/oppressed people.

        Liev Schrieber is a wealthy white cishet man; his privilege affords him the ability to stick his head in the sand regarding people like Jon Voight. If people like Trump have their way, he’ll be okay. His “tolerance” for Voight is more about complacency than anything else. HIS rights aren’t on the line.

        No one’s saying you need to cut off everybody who believes in things you don’t. Your original post about “respecting differences” and acting like division is in itself bad, is the problem. The division is not the fault of those of us fighting to be treated equally; implying otherwise is false equivalence. There’s a difference between respecting that someone is of a different ethnic group or religion, and respecting/enabling bigotry and fascism.

        There’s something called the paradox of tolerance which applies here: if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant.

        Finally, one of my favourite quotes, from the late archbishop Desmond Tutu: “if an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, you have just chosen the side of the oppressor. And the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

      • Blue Toile says:

        Thanks for your honesty, Knish. You see all this as a political issue, where I see it as a deep moral issue. My personal concept of basic human decency is not up for negotiation, no matter how much others try to rationalize it away. Many people have excused such behavior and beliefs throughout history …to their peril. All my best to you, clearly you are a kind and decent person. I wish you were right, but history shows differently.

  7. JustMe says:

    I would have trouble separating it from my life. I unfriended a colleague last night who didn’t see a problem with protesters disrespecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier monument and the Terry Fox memorial in Ottawa. As we all knew the extremists showed up making what might have started out as a protest to forced covid mandates into a gathering for neo nazis and separatist fringe groups.

    They were so jealous they missed the Jan 6th 2020 capitol storming that they wanted their own chance to bully,harass, and create chaos.

    • Who+ARE+These+People? says:

      Hi fellow Canadian. And for people not familiar with these events, the same people were carrying Confederate flags and marked Canadian flags with swastikas. Just to underline their cause.

      • Nick G says:

        Another fellow Canadian. My beloved neighbour live streamed from one of those protests. I love this guy and feel so torn. We have had our “discussions” until I cut them off – he knows my politics and seemingly respects them – but what’s respect, really, when he has these views? Is it one rule for his friends and the hell with the masses? I am so disgusted by the ugliness underneath the rhetoric that I am seriously thinking of never talking to him again. Yet this is a man who just recently came and snowblowed my whole driveway in 2 feet of snow, a good neighbour. I am neither elderly nor disabled and can shovel my own driveway, and he doesn’t need my home made punch at Christmas, but those things were the glue of society once upon a time.

  8. TeeBee says:

    I don’t know about “loving” someone whose inner core is so poisonous that he feels comfortable putting out in the public sphere such awful things.

    I mean, I LOVE my dad. LOVE. He’s turned 80, and could be the most conservative curmudgeonly old person on the planet. He leans conservative, mostly financially, he’s held a lot of the beliefs that we associate with people of his generation, and yet… He is very open-minded, kind, loving, principled AF, wants to save the environment, pro-women’s rights.

    I guess what I am saying is that there is often not a lot of difference between who a person really is and what they decide to show the world through their actions. I don’t have to doubt or question my love for my father, because when push comes to shove he chooses compassion and kindness, even though he can be tough and grumpy. So, I don’t believe Voigt is lovable. Or has intrinsic qualities that truly make him worth defending. He has shown repeatedly who he is, and Schreiber ends up looking like a guy who knows what side his bread is buttered. That’s it. I don’t blame him, the business breeds duplicity and disingenuousness, but I am still disappointed every damn time…

  9. AnneL says:

    I understand Liev’s position here. They started working together on Ray Donovan when Obama was President. I don’t think most people saw Trump coming. So Voight listening to Rush and being a Right-Wing curmudgeon wasn’t as problematic or disruptive in the workplace or in their friendship, whatever it might really be. Times change, people change, and you have to deal with it somehow.

    We have friends who have known each other since their children were infants. They live a couple of blocks away from each other. They’re part of our larger friend group but we are much closer to one couple than the other (the more liberal couple, who are originally from Canada). Over the past few years the more conservative couple, the wife especially, have remained entrenched in their loyalty to the GOP and have even gotten angry and a little nuts.

    But as our friend says, they have known each other for so long, and are so close, it’s hard to just cut ties. She says the (angry) friend would literally give a kidney for her. I know this woman. She’s smart and funny, and though we have always disagreed about politics we were able to do so without it being a problem. But then, we are not that close to them. We only see them a few times a year.

    It’s really complicated.

  10. Lila says:

    I’m only interested in my coworkers so far as it benefits me having a good working relationship with them. I wouldn’t say I love any of them…but then I don’t have reporters asking questions about our relationships or writing stories based on my answers. It’s a difficult needle Liev is having to thread.

  11. SS says:

    I can sympathize with Liev. My two most recent bosses could not be more unalike, one was a liberal who really liked Obama, the other a conservative who admired Trump. Ironically the Trump lover was a kind, generous man who was universally liked and respected. The liberal, who I agreed with on almost everything, was a nasty, almost universally disliked POS who I reported to HR for making racist comments. Political beliefs don’t always align with virtue.

  12. Joanna says:

    My mom watches Fox News. These people who watch it take it so seriously. She’ll start going on some rant and if I disagree, we end up arguing. So now I just try to nod my head and not engage or change the subject. I hate it.

  13. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Unfortunately, my beliefs have led to a very solitary existence as I cut off everyone in my extended family. Even my husband considers himself Republican (I think it’s because of my dad). After so many deaths in the family, years ago, my dad’s wife and daughter continued to reach out to me, and we visited each other quite frequently. Around 2010 or 11, on a vacay with them, they were always listening to fox news. I havn’t spoken to anyone on that side since then. Hell I’ve shut everyone out, and it’s taken a toll.

    Just like I have zero religious zealots in my orbit, I now have zero political zealots in it either. Texas is a shit state politically, and I’m constantly shooting off emails left and right (pun intended). I have one bestie in the world and she now lives on the upper east coast. I wouldn’t have gotten through the past years without her lol. Perhaps money and fame affords complacency. I can be extremely diplomatic because that’s how I’ve always gotten anything accomplished, but if I know you’re an orange shit stain supporter, I am O.U.T. If you quote anything Qanonish, I’m O.U.T. If you’re anti vaccine and mask, I don’t know you. If what I need has to come from any of that, I don’t need it