In an interview with Jay Leno on Wednesday, Kelsey Grammer appeared slightly miffed about not being nominated for an Emmy Award for his role as a ruthless Chicago mayor on the Starz series "Boss." Rather than chalk the snubbing up to his performance, or even the show's dismal ratings, Grammer suggested that there was another elephant in the room.
"It may have to do with several things, honestly," he said, "but I think it's possible [that it's because] I'm a declared out-of-the-closet Republican in Hollywood."
Grammer went on to suggest that left-leaning voters at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences might have loved his performance but hated his political views. Granted, the low percentage of avowed conservatives in Hollywood is no secret, but Grammer's intimation that he was passed over for an award based on his political leanings raises an interesting question about whether the few conservative celebrities there are tend to be passed over for industry accolades.
Grammer is already a five-time Emmy winner. His last trophy was awarded in 2006 for his voiceover role as Sideshow Bob on "The Simpsons." That was two years before he "outed" himself by publicly endorsing Rudy Giuliani for president.
So could Grammer have a point about right-wing snubbery among Academy voters? Perhaps, but a look at the Emmy track record of other right-leaning celebrities suggests that the Hollywood powers that be are not as Republican-averse as Grammer might think. If the "Cheers" veteran has lost likeability points of late, it probably has to do with his very public -- and very nasty -- divorce last year, not his political preference.
But in case Grammer needs some more convincing, below are five Hollywood conservatives who have been awarded TV's highest honors.
The duly conservative "Everybody Loves Raymond" star -- who also stared with Grammer on the short-lived comedy "Back to You" -- has been an avowed pro-lifer for years. She's also been nominated for five Emmys and won twice.
Less a die-hard Republican than a political flip flopper, Willis definitely tends to lean right. In 1988, he supported Democrat Michael Dukakis for president (a lot of help that was), but he switched to the George H. W. Bush camp four years later. He also supported the younger Bush in 2000. That same year he won an Emmy for a guest spot on the NBC sitcom "Friends." It was his second Emmy, the first coming in 1987 for his leading role in "Moonlighting."
The feisty right-wing co-host of ABC's "The View" is known for getting into fierce debates with her lefty colleagues over everything from the Iraq war to the morning-after pill. And yet Hasselbeck was not left out when she and her four other co-hosts took home Emmy Awards for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 2009.
The staunch political leanings of this borderline-libertarian actor earned him a personal invite to George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001. In 2006, he won two Emmys for the Western miniseries "Broken Tail," one for lead actor and one for executive producer.
The perennial "Jeopardy!" host is an affirmed right-leaning centrist who has espoused conservative values such as curbing the national debt, moving away from entitlement programs and not taxing the rich. He's also won five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host. The show itself has won 12.
I'll take "Award-Winning Republican Celebrities" for $500, Alex.