Sylvester Stallone said that while he is “incredibly flattered” to be considered for an arts-related position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, he thinks he’ll be more effective working for veterans.
In a statement released by his publicist on Sunday, Stallone said: “I am incredibly flattered to have been suggested to be involved with the National Endowment of the Arts. However I believe I could be more effective by bringing national attention to returning military personnel in an effort to find gainful employment, suitable housing and financial assistance these heroes respectfully deserve.”
The Daily Mail reported on Thursday that Trump had approached the Rocky actor about the position, which was rumoured to be the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Stallone’s spokesperson declined to comment at the time.
“It’s been widely and wrongly assumed that a Trump presidency will be hostile to the arts,” a source tells the UK publication. “But Mr. Trump feels this sort of A-list appointment is precisely the shot in the arm that the industry needs.”
The National Endowment of Arts is responsible for distributing government grants to arts organizations and currently has an annual budget of $148 million.
Stallone spoke highly of Trump back in January.
“I love Donald Trump,” he told Variety during an interview. “He’s a great Dickensian character. You know what I mean? There are certain people like Arnold [Schwarzenegger], Babe Ruth, that are bigger than life. But I don’t know how that translates to running the world.”
The Oscar-nominated actor once considered going into politics himself, after the mayor of Philadelphia told him he could get elected if he ran. His wife easily talked him out of it. “She said, ‘Are you crazy? He’s just being nice,'” he told Variety. “You’re not going to be elected. You don’t have that insatiable need to be embraced by people.'”
The Twitterverse expressed their reactions towards the Stallone and Trump news:
Sylvester Stallone suggests he would decline Trump's offer to head National Endowment of the Arts. Way to keep fighting Rocky! We will win!
— Emanuel Zbeda (@therealezway) December 19, 2016
I'm fine with Sylvester Stallone getting a role in Trump's administration.
We finally have someone who fought against Russia. pic.twitter.com/LLt7WbrPhg
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) December 15, 2016
Sylvester Stallone fought the Russians as both Rocky and Rambo. No way in hell he'll be in Trump's administration.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) December 16, 2016
Trump probably thinks that Stallone is just some dumb action movie brute and not an accomplished writer and director https://t.co/q64nSguQ2a
— Pᴜᴍᴘᴋɪɴ Fʀɪɢʜᴛ (@DrPizza) December 19, 2016
I lied… Trump considering Sylvester Stallone for head of NEA….. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Cute. Bye. #ItsRogueOneDay
— ⚧ Ana Dee ⚧ (@TheAnaKitten) December 16, 2016
"Is there a way I can get that Oscar from Mark Rylance?"
"Probably. We can do a law. Sure. Yes."
"I'm in." https://t.co/2XxO7PfRnQ
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) December 16, 2016
Stallone is the first widely known celebrity to be considered for Trump’s team. Early last week, Trump met with rapper Kanye West at the Trump Tower in New York, where the two discussed “multicultural issues,” and rumours are still swirling that West may be tapped to join Trump. Both camps, however, have denied the meeting was anything more than a simple chat.
The 70-year-old politician also met with actor Leonardo DiCaprio in early December to discuss preserving the environment and boosting the economy through green-centred jobs.