'West Wing' star on Hollywood 'elitism': Many actors are struggling too

Actor Richard Schiff pushed back on the idea of Hollywood elitism in an interview that aired Thursday on "Rising," saying that most middle-class members of the entertainment industry go through the same economic struggles faced by other Americans. 

"Most of us weren't born in the royalty of Hollywood," Schiff, who starred on "The West Wing," told hosts Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball last month. "I was a cab driver, I was a teamster, I was an IBEW worker, I worked in factories in Colorado." 

"Most of us are from America. We're not from Hollywood," he continued. "What people don't understand is Hollywood is no different from the rest of this country in that the top one percent make all the money, and middle-class actors are struggling."

"Residuals have been taken away. There's a reason why Netflix can do whatever they want. They do not pay residuals to actors," he said. 

"Middle-class actors are struggling to make a living," he said. "It's the same ratio. The top one percent get everything." 

The majority of high-profile Hollywood actors tend to favor the liberal side of the political spectrum and have spoken out en masse against President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE

The liberal lean has led to conservatives criticizing Hollywood elites for being out of touch with most Americans. 

Trump has fired back at criticism from Hollywood stars online. 

"Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes," Trump said in a tweet before he took office in 2017, referring to actress Meryl Streep's acceptance speech at the Oscars. “She is a Hillary flunky who lost big. For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him “groveling” when he totally changed a 16-year-old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!”

— Julia Manchester