WATCH: Dean Cain Calls Out Twitter Mob: ‘That’s Real Fascism, and It Ain’t Gonna Happen’
Star of true crime drama Gosnell, Dean Cain clashed this week with actor/producer Tom Arnold. Cain explains to The Stream why open dialogue matters in an exclusive interview.
On Tuesday, the cultural clash over the new film Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer came into stark view. Two popular actors nearly came to blows backstage at the Glendale, California studio of Larry King Now.
“You’re giving me guilt by association, and that’s wrong!” shouted Dean Cain, star of Gosnell. The Hollywood Reporter obtained video of the exchange and reported on it yesterday (warning: explicit language). The actor is known for portraying “Superman” on the ’90s TV show Lois and Clark. His opponent also has a decades-long career in Hollywood.
A comedy actor and producer of the hit show Roseanne, Tom Arnold objected to Cain attending the Values Voter Summit two weeks ago. Vice President Mike Pence and various conservative figures spoke to over 2,000 activists at the Washington, D.C., gathering hosted by Family Research Council Action.
“Don’t be with them!” shouted Arnold, who currently stars in the documentary series The Hunt for the Trump Tapes. “They are taking advantage of you. If I was with Nazis, if I go to their convention — they’re like that! They’re that bad.”
The two actors ultimately hugged after hearing each other out. However, the animosity continued later on Twitter. At Values Voter Summit, Cain spoke with The Stream about criticism he received from Arnold. He also stated his differences with organizers of the summit.
“No one can tell me who to talk to and what to say,” said Cain in the interview. “Whether or not I support a cause, they don’t tell me how to do it. That’s real fascism, and it ain’t gonna happen.”
Dean Cain: “I Am Pro-Choice”
Producers of Gosnell have faced several hurdles getting their dramatic film to the big screen. It started when the project was booted from a popular crowdfunding site. This past week, Facebook banned producers from buying ads on their platform to promote the film.
Now actors and producers have faced hostility directly. “For people to attack me for coming here to speak about this film, it blows my mind,” said Cain. “Twitter is a toxic place and people have certainly been trying to blow me up, which I don’t get.”
He referenced a tweet sent that week by Tom Arnold (warning: expletive). It led to their backstage argument on Tuesday.
— Tom Arnold (@TomArnold) September 23, 2018
Cain did not shy away from disagreeing with other voices at Values Voter Summit. “People are going to think this is a big pro-life movie, but it’s not,” he said.
“I’m pro-choice. I support a woman’s right to choose up to a point. For my own child, I would never want an abortion. But I’m not going to legislate that someone else has to do that.”
Divisions Over Life, Sexuality Issues
The actor elucidated his views further with facts about fetal development. “At six weeks, you can hear a heartbeat,” said Cain. “At 20 weeks, the survival rate of a child is 60 percent; and at 26 weeks, it’s 90 percent. This guy was performing abortions well past that. It’s horrendous.”
Gallup reports that Americans are evenly divided on self-reporting as pro-choice or pro-life. Their polling also reveals that only 28 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal after the first trimester.
Cain further stood for a cause that also seemed at odds with social conservative activists.
“My support for gay rights has been unwavering for decades,” he said. “If you have someone who supports your cause, why would you try to vilify them for coming and having dialogue and discussion? We may not agree, but having the dialogue is certainly the first step.”
A public policy group known for its stands on social issues, Family Research Council (FRC) has been repeatedly labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The conservative group rejects the claims made by the SPLC.
In June, FRC and 47 other groups called on media to “dissociate themselves from the SPLC and its ongoing effort to defame and vilify mainstream conservative organizations.”
Despite producers promoting the film to pro-life audiences, including at Values Voter Summit, Cain states their viewpoint is neutral. “We’re not taking a position,” he said. “We are telling the story as it took place and let people make their own decision.”
“Life And Death” True Crime Drama
The film recounts how, in 2011, a Philadelphia narcotics investigator and his team stumbled upon an unethical abortion clinic. Kermit Gosnell ultimately went to trial in 2013. Today, he is serving three consecutive life sentences in a Pennsylvania prison for his crimes.
“[This] abortion doctor could very well be America’s greatest serial killer,” said Dean Cain. “He was found guilty of murdering three children born alive and possibly hundreds more. There were [charges] of manslaughter as well for losing one of his patients, by having an untrained nurse on staff administer all sorts of medications.”
In interviews, producers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney have compared the film to Making a Murderer and other popular true crime dramas. It puzzled them why actors, distributors and now media outlets seemed to discriminate against the project.
“No one wanted to tell this story,” said Cain. “The media didn’t cover it when it when it took place. We had a real hard time getting the film made and [distributed].”
The actor, who noted he is filming three movies this month, sums up why he believes the pushback has been intense. “This is really emotional subject matter,” concluded Cain. “People are going to take sides and stake their sides really hard.”
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content including disturbing images, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer opens in theaters nationwide this Friday.