Action-movie star Steven Seagal might be considering a jump from reality TV to real-life politics.
In an interview to KNXV TV, Seagal, 61, stated his interest in running for the post of Arizona's governor in the state's next gubernatorial elections. He made the announcement while talking about his new reality series “Steven Seagal: Lawman – Maricopa County, Arizona.” The action-hero has teamed up with Joe Arpaio, the controversial sheriff of Maricopa County who has called himself “America’s Toughest Sheriff” for the show, which was shot in Arizona and airs on cable TV’s Reelz Channel.
“Joe Arpario and I were talking about me running for governor of Arizona. I would remotely consider it, but I have a lot of other responsibilities that may be more important to address,” the seventh-dan degree Aikido black belt said in the interview. Seagal also stated that he believes illegal immigration is a significant problem for Arizona and America, and said that increasing border security could be one of his major campaign platforms.
Seagal is a part of 3,000 unpaid members who make up Arpaio’s volunteer posse and he also has been deputized with sheriff’s offices in New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. Seagal has also been the subject of controversies in the last couple of years.
According to reports, a woman filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Seagal in 2010, which reportedly led to the cancellation of his reality series "Steven Seagal: Lawman" by A&E. The case was reportedly settled out of court. In February 2013, Seagal and Arpaio’s posse found themselves at the center of a controversy after filming an imitation of the mass shooting that took place in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.
Seagal’s participation in the event was called a “mockery” of the tragedy, to which Seagal responded by calling his critics “an embarrassment to the human race,” reports said.
Suman Varandani works as a Correspondent for the International Business Times, where she covers Entertainment, Lifestyle, Media & Culture and other trending topics.